Maize slow to mature on marginal sites

Maize crop maturity has remained static on challenging maize growing farms this week, says Neil Groom, technical manager for Grainseed.

“I think this is due to the green nature of crops and the fact we have only just started having colder nights, which have switched the crop into dry down mode” he adds.

Maize in better growing regions has moved forward in whole plant dry matter, as shown on the site in Norfolk, which has increased by 2.2%. “These crops are still green, but they are beginning to die back on lighter soils.”

As fields become wetter after autumn rains growers are advised to fill gateways with hardcore to help clean wheels before driving on the road. Soil contamination of silage can also be reduced by reversing trailers onto the pit apron, so they tip in a clean area, he advises.

Also ensure silage is loaded in to the clamp in thin layers, rolling all the time to consolidate the silage. If the clamp is wide enough get another heavy tractor on top of the clamp because the tighter the crop is rolled into the pit, the better it will keep.

Site  Drill date  Ht above sea level (m) Crop dry matter 28 September  % Increase
Petworth, Sussex  10 May  50  
Harleston, Norfolk  3 May 30  28.4 +2.2
Crediton, Devon  10 May  118  Harvested 
Ticknall, Derbyshire  27 April  67  Harvested 
Gelli Aur College, Dyfed*  10 May  23  20.6  – 1.7
Leyburn, N. Yorks *  6 May 140 23.9  + 0.5

SAC, Dumfries, Scotland* 
25 April  45  20.7   – 1.9






* Variety Nancis, all other sites are Soldier.