Harvest maize before the frosts get to it

Any maize crops still standing should be harvested now before they suffer any more frosts, believes Neil Groom,Grainseed technical manager.  Patience has defiantly paid off this year, with crops reaching full maturity in this Indian summer.


 


Extensive frosting on 18 October finishedstarch lay down in many crops and its now best to get everything securely chopped and in the pit. If leaf becomes dry and brittle and has moulds growing on the surface then consider applying a chemical based additive to prevent spoilage during feedout.


 


 “Once maize has stabilised in clamps for a couple of weeks then a silage sample analysis should be undertaken to allow your nutritionist to maximise the benefits of maize in the ration,” he suggests.


 


“Early analyses are showing high levels of starch due to high grain content. However, any crops prematurely cut have resulted in lower dry matters than the optimum of 30% and these silages will require careful balancing, particularly if grass silage is wet as well,” believes Mr Groom.


 


 Anyone growing grain maize for combining to crimp or for drying should also look at their crops soon. “Early drilled crops along the south coast will thresh out easily now. When drying ensure that grain is brought down to 15% moisture content within 36 hours to prevent mycotoxin or mould growth on the grain.”


 


Farmers Weekly/Grainseed Maize Dry Matters


































 Site  Drill Date Height above sea level (m)   Crop dry matter 17 October
Petworth, Sussex 20 April                      50                 Harvested
Harleston, Norfolk 23 April                      30                 32.7     +2.4
Credition Devon 17 April                    118                 Harvested
Ticknall, Derbyshire 12 April                      67                 Harvested
Poyerston, Pembroke *  2 May                       20                 Harvested


* Variety Nancis, all other sites are Agreement


 

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