28th April 2016- Drilling Update and Grower Advice


I think over the past few days we have had every type of weather possible, (hail, snow, sleet, rain, wind, frost, sun, and thunder) and so consequently our soils are cold and nothing much is wanting to grow. Usually by now we would have drilled all our late maturing maize varieties and be finishing off the fabregas before waiting on the Italian Ryegrass to be harvested. Instead the seed and fertiliser bags remain sitting in the shed as do both drills.

Advise being offered to maize growers at present is to delay drilling to avoid seed sitting in waterlogged soil and potentially failing. Normally maize drilling can start once soil temperatures reach 10C at a soil depth of 10cm when taken before 9am. But this year, seed drilled into such soil is likely to sit without germinating, making it vulnerable to rots, mould, disease and pest attack so advice is to wait till temperatures reach 12C before starting. Experts are also reminding growers to be mindful that with all this wet weather nitrogen in the soil may have been depleted, so maize crops may need an extra boost 2-3 weeks after establishment.  

In the meantime we continue to wait for warmer times ahead, but the impact of this delay is that we will already be cutting back our seed rates to compensate for the delayed start in an attempt to prevent against a late harvest.

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