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Stackyard News May 07

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    Forage Maize “Catch Crops” Could Prevent Predicted Silage Shortfall

Farmers facing a shortfall in forage following a light-yielding first cut could still turn to an additional late-drilled forage maize crop to bolster supplies, says British Seed Houses’ Paul Billings.

Maize drilling

Maize drilling
New ultra early varieties that produce a mature maize crop from a shortened growing season could be drilled as late as the first week of June in some areas and still be ready in September.

“Maturity class 11 varieties such as Scimitar, Camelot and Revolver do offer a new approach to growing maize, and could be used as an extra source of forage this year,” he says.

“The shorter growing season does offer the opportunity to drill after grass has been grazed or cut for silage in the spring, and indeed still leave time to drill grass again following the maize harvest in some situations. We are really talking about growing maize as a “catch crop”, without sacrificing crop maturity or yield.

“Such an approach really is maximising the forage acres available and should be good practice under any circumstances, but in a year such as this when forage may well be in short supply, it has particularly pertinent advantages.”

Revolver is currently the earliest maturing variety on Descriptive Lists, and offers yields comparable with many of the leading Maturity Class 8 varieties.

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