Recent warm, dry weather across much of the country has pushed maize maturity on rapidly and while this week’s FW/Grainseed dry matter samples don’t fully reflect these improvements, Grainseed’s Neil Groom expects harvesting to begin in earnest in many areas in the next week or so.
“Even in areas where soils were wet three weeks ago the warm winds have dried soils out and plants have rapidly moved sugar from the leaf to starch in the grain. It is important in the next few weeks to regularly assess crops and keep in close contact with contractors.
“Once harvesting begins assess the first load into the clamp to ensure the chop length is correct for the ration you are going to feed next winter. Modern harvesters are able to crack all the grains, so the chop length should be 18-22mm to provide extra fibre in the diet and promote cudding,” he adds.