Growing Forage Maize Successfully
Getting maize off to a good start and attention to detail at harvest is the key to producing high yields of quality forage and starch for high yielding cows
Maize is a superb feed and when grown well and has amongst the cheapest cost per tonne of dry matter or cost per unit of energy of any feed available for the dairy cow. Maize though is a tropical crop and a very unforgiving crop under UK conditions. Grown badly forage maize crop yields can be disappointing. Having selected the best Forage Maize Seed Variety, attention to detail is needed to realise the varieties potential.
A whole range of factors are involved including: site selection, sub-soiling, seed bed preparation, sowing date, crop rotation, fertiliser and nutrient requirements. Every year we see acreages of maize are sown, well after the optimum sowing date as well as suffering from inadequate weed control and nutrient deficiencies through lack of potash, nitrogen, sulphur and other nutrients. As a rule of thumb on our marginal sites UK sites, sow in second half April if conditions allow. The crop needs more than 5 months to fully mature, and cobs are slow to mature through October.
If soil conditions are good and soil temperature is over 9oC and conditions are good - don't delay. Soil test to check indices and pH before drilling. Use a pre-emergence herbicide, any weed competition early on can severely impact on yields. Good seed bed conditions are very important. Avoid any compaction and subsoil if needed. Provide plenty of nutrients. Ideally, apply muck, 100kg Muriate of Potash, additional nitrogen and 50kg MAP/DAP down the spout to get the crop off to a rapid start.
The crop needs to be established and with a good root system and crop canopy to make maximum use of our cool, short summers. Any growth checks will reduce both yields and crop maturity. Sow 45000 seeds / acre on less than ideal seedbeds or for maximum bulk. Sow at 42000 seeds on good seedbeds, in good conditions and for maximum starch yield.
Pro-Maize and Grain-Set Foliar Feeds
Natural Liquid Growth Stimulant for maize consistently
produces more that 1 tonne per acre extra cob yield
Pro-Maize and Grain-Set are natural liquid bio-stimulants fortified with bio-plexed manganese designed to stimulate rapid growth and development of the root system and leaf canopy of maize. Normally sprayed on to the crop at 5 - 9 leaf stage. Applied alone or with most herbicides. Natural wetting agents and adjuvants which enhance the uptake and efficacy of other products.
Heavily trialled on maize in Europe and the UK over Pro-Maize and Grain-Set have shown extremely consistent results. Trials resulted in 15% more grain through improved cob fill, up to 12% increase in dry matter yields, up to 17% increase in feed efficiency per unit of feed and up to 14 days earlier harvest date.
Exceptionally cost effective. Recommended for routine use on maize to improve crop yields, reliability and feed value of the crop.
- More than 100 trials in the UK, Denmark and Holland
- Improves early vigour and root development
- Improved nutrient uptake and better drought resistance
- Apply spray to Maize at 5 – 9 leaf stage
- Increased grain set, grain fill and higher starch levels
- UK cob weights 20gms - 50gms heavier
- Typically 10 days earlier harvest
- Especially effective on marginal sites
- Effective even in good maize years
- Increases feed value of maize crops
- Improves animal performance
- Up to 12% increase in dry matter yields
- Up to 17% increase in feed digestibility
- 1 tonne of extra cob per acre
- Increased milk yields
- Extremely cost effective
BIGGER CROPS, MORE STARCH YIELD,
EARLIER RIPENESS, EARLY HARVEST
IMPROVED FEED VALUE, INCREASED MILK YIELDS
Forage Maize Crop Preservation
Forage maize whilst being one of the cheapest energy feeds available to the dairy farmer still represents a very significant cost. Consequently it is important to pay attention to detail when ensiling forage maize to minimize both dry matter and nutrient loss from the silage clamp. Consolidate and seal the clamp effectively and always use an effective forage maize additive.
For maximum feed value, forage intakes and aerobic stability, we recommend treating all forage maize at harvest with Ultra-Sile Maize Ultra-Sile Arable or Ultra-Sile HiDri, our new state of the art wholecrop and forage maize silage additives. They really do work. We have seen Ultra-Sile Arable treated maize silage, remain stable, with no signs of heating and no signs of moulding for several weeks at a time. For further savings in feed value use Oxygen Barrier Sheets the most effective means of excluding air and improving fermentation in the top metre of the clamp.
An effective maize additive, efficient sealing and good clamp management, will minimise losses and maximise animal performanceContact Richard Webster for advice on making the most of maize to maximise animal performance and reduce purchased feed costs.
Full nutritional support package free of charge to customers along with the most extensive range of high quality feed inputs available