2011 Status of Maize - Neil Groom (MGA Council)

Friday, August 19, 2011

The National area of maize has remained static for the last few years despite the attractiveness of the wheat price and this season many growers drilled early during the good weather of April. Late drillers have suffered from dry seedbeds and 2 stage germination with seed in dry conditions taking 6 weeks to chit due to the drought. Although early drilled the cold and wet June and July has seen flowering at the normal time in England, but delayed into August in Northern England and Scotland.

Crop bulk is very variable, some growers have maize that is going to yield 20t/acre whilst other crops are short. With good fertilisation in the current rains we could see some monster cobs and produce some very high quality silage.

If you have short crops of maize then consider drilling a catchcrop of forage rye or Italian ryegrass for early grazing next march. If the autumn is kind these may allow a quick silage cut in November. Stubble turnips or forage rape can be sown until end of August and can give some good autumn grazing but only drill free draining soils that allow access throughout the winter.

Harvest date is likely to be later in many areas, but with a good September this could quickly change.


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