Carry on drilling…

23 April 1999

Carry on drilling…

THERE is no reason to delay maize seed drilling because of frost concerns.

Simon Pope of David Nunn explains that for some weeks only maize leaves will emerge and the growing point stays underground.

"Its only once the growing point rises above soil level that plants are susceptible to frost."

The benefits of early drilling into a good seedbed outweigh risks of frost and can have a greater influence on crop yield than the variety chosen, says Dr Pope.

Cold weather will reduce soil temperature, but it increases again quickly at this time of year. Generally soil conditions are good with enough moisture for germination but not too much to stop field work.

"It may be possible to create a top-quality seedbed with one pass of a power harrow, helping to conserve moisture." But ensure there is no compaction and the seedbed is fine and loose to give maize a good start, he advises.

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