Search

East Anglia’s maize harvest could be 15% above average, according to specialists at Grainseed

PUBLISHED: 14:04 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:04 18 September 2017

Maize being harvested in mid Norfolk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Maize being harvested in mid Norfolk. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

East Anglia’s maize harvest looks likely to yield 15% above the average this year, according to Eye-based forage specialists Grainseed.

Grainseed technical director Neil Groom. Picture: WILSON HENDRY/GRAINSEED Grainseed technical director Neil Groom. Picture: WILSON HENDRY/GRAINSEED

Technical director Neil Groom said producers will need to plan harvest and clamp management carefully to avoid losing valuable feed material due to the extra volume.

“Early harvest results suggest yields could be up 2.5–5.0 tonnes per hectare (1.0-2.0 tonnes per acre) with excellent quality too. Fields look consistent with few poorer patches and there are some really big crops out there,” he said.

“Because of the sheer bulk it could be worth looking at cutting crops at a height of 50cm as opposed to a more conventional 10-15cm.”

Cattle feeding trials have shown this adds to feed values, such as another 1.2% to dry matter, another 1.2% to starch content, and 1.5% to neutral detergent fibre (NDF), adding up to an extra quarter of a litre of milk per cow per day for every kilogram fed, he pointed out.

“These quality improvements will all but make up for the drop in the volume of overall material harvested,” he said.

Cutting the crop higher could also help with storage, said Mr Groom. “If you don’t cut higher you’re probably going to have to ag-bag the extra or make a field clamp to accommodate the extra yield, but remember the Environmental Agency will need two weeks’ notice before this.

“You can go higher in existing clamps, but you then face problems with aerobic stability during feed-out if you’re not careful and there are considerable safety issues when removing material from high clamps.”

Additives could help to counteract any issues of aerobic stability in extended or temporary storage, he said.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Insight

Norfolk and Suffolk’s retailers are preparing for the Black Friday and festive rush amid challenging times for the high street. Doug Faulkner finds out how they are feeling ahead of this key season.

The brightest stars in our business community were recognised last night as the winners of the EDP Business Awards 2017 were revealed.

Green 100

cover

Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition

Read

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor

|

Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor

|

Business Most Read

Awards

Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100