High maize yields reported as harvest progresses

Initial maize harvest reports suggest harvested crops are producing some very high yields in all regions.

Neil Groom, technical director of Grainseed, says recent good weather has allowed crops to convert the sugar in the leaf to starch in the grains as the crop naturally reaches full maturity.

However, he urges growers to be patient with any crops that are still very green.

“Wait for the crop because you are going to feed the silage for the next year,” he says.

See also: View last week’s maize harvest report

Even as the chance of frosts increase, Mr Groom says not to worry. “If it’s a light frost, which crisps up the top couple of leaves, don’t worry.

“But if the plant is frosted to the leaf layer below the cobs then get the crop chopped and ensiled rather than leaving it out in the field.

“Frosted leaves will become colonised by yeasts and moulds, which we don’t want in the clamp because they can affect fermentation, reduce palatability and increase heating in the feed trough”.

Mr Groom says if maize becomes frosted then using an additive will ensure the clamp becomes anaerobic and acidic quicker and allow the good bacteria for fermentation to dominate the clamp.


Toby Tibbenham sampling for Farmers Weekly near Harleston, Norfolk, reports many local growers are harvesting, but his crops still need another week to reach full maturity.

“We have some big crops since our maize fields are following wheat instead of sugar beet and we have fed the crops well this season. I will wait until the grain is fully fit, they are still squirting a little juice.

“We feed maize all year and so want it to be the best quality possible, we’ll follow up closely with the drill and the wheat normally goes in well after maize,” he says.