Maize benefiting from warmer weather

Published 14 August 15

Maize crops across the country continue to benefit from the warm weather and many crops are flowering earlier than normal, according to John Morgan from the Maize Growers Association (MGA).

Crops growing on light and shallow soils have suffered a little from lack of moisture, so July’s rain has provided a real boost. The big exception has been Scotland, where the significantly higher than average rainfall and lower than average temperatures, have, once again, vindicated the use of plastic film.

During July I visited farmers to discuss the potential to oversow maize with grass and other cover crops, to reduce soil and nutrient loss over the coming winter. Such discussions are particularly important bearing in mind the criticism on the crop in terms of the potential soil structure challenges posed by late harvested maize. It is important that every maize grower should actively manage overwinter stubbles to minimise the risk of nutrient and soil losses.

Unless the weather takes a real turn for the worse, harvest will be relatively early and yields up slightly on the average. For more information about how to assess soil structure, you can download the ‘Healthy Grassland Soils’ guide from the AHDB Dairy website. Or the ‘Growing and feeding maize silage for Better Returns’ from the AHDB Beef & Lamb website. Any growers keen to learn more about the overwintering options for their maize land can contact the MGA