Maize crops are filling the clamps well with growers reporting high yields, very early grain maturity and good dry down of the plants, says Neil Groom, technical director for Grainseed.
“It’s good to see everyone having an excellent harvest and the maize crop will replace the first cut grass silage stocks, which in general have been fed throughout the summer. Some growers in areas with less heat have cut a small area early to have maize back in the diet while the rest of the crop continues maturing and reaches full maturity in mid-October as normal.”
As autumn progresses weather conditions will turn more catchy. Be prepared to use sweepers on public roads to ensure highways are kept clean and if possible use farm tracks to get trailers clean before coming out onto the road.
Filling sunken gateways with hardcore now while gateways are dry will reduce any muddy puddles in the gate entrance’s.
Mr Groom says all stubble fields should be sown with a crop or cultivated to ensure winter rainfall soaks into the soil rather than running off across the soil surface causing soil erosion and pollution in watercourses.
“A simple tine pulled through the field will bust surface pans from harvesting machinery. “You need to dig a hole to understand where the compacted layers are in the soil profile and then you can operate the cultivator at the correct depth rather than working over deep to be on the safe side,” he says.
“Where possible keep maize clamped for six weeks before feeding since the grain becomes more available as acids in the clamp soften and breaks down the starch grains. Growers always report maize performing better with higher milk yields and growth rates after Christmas than before.
“It will be important to get your maize silage analysed this winter after it has stabilised in the clamp for six weeks because we have more plant material and good cobs this season. You can’t assume standard silage analysis results in the ration programs this year – you must sample,” advises Mr Groom.