Wynnstay Group Plc

Forage Maize Seed

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The maize specialists at Wynnstay have been involved in the development of the forage maize crop for many years and we have become established as one of the largest maize seed suppliers in the Midlands, North West & Wales. This position enables us to source the best varieties available. We have forged strong relationships with the major maize breeders/agents supplying the UK ensuring that when promising new varieties appear we are able to assess them locally and then offer the best to our customers. The range of varieties we offer enables our specialists to make the most appropriate recommendation for an individual situation.

Field selection

If the field is not ideally suited to growing maize don’t sow it!

Cultivation

A fine, deep & clod free seedbed is required. Subsoil if necessary to eliminate compaction. If the crop has a poor start it will struggle all season.

Ensure the crop receives adequate N, P & K and that specific trace element deficiencies are corrected. If in doubt carry out soil analysis.

Variety choice

Early vigour is very important, as is the ability to withstand stress and to continue to develop yield and quality under adverse conditions.

Weed control

All can fall at the final hurdle if the crop is not free from weed competition. Residual herbicides will give longer-term weed control than contact acting products with less crop effects. The team at Wynnstay offers the complete package and will advise on all of the above, talk to us regarding cost effective crop production. A good crop of maize is a cheap crop; a poor crop can be very expensive indeed.

Growing forage maize under biodegradable plastic film

A new and exciting chapter has opened in the production of forage maize.

Sowing maize under biodegradable plastic film raises the soil temperature at the start of the season allowing the crop to be drilled earlier. Plant emergence and establishment is more rapid and the growing season is extended, so enabling the maize crop to produce higher yields of dry matter and starch with an earlier harvest date.

The plastic film acts as a miniature greenhouse giving the maize plants a strong, early start and being photo and biodegradable the film begins to break down after a period of weeks. Drilling is a one pass operation; the herbicide is sprayed, the maize seed drilled and the plastic film applied using a specifically developed piece of equipment.

Correct variety choice is important because there is considerable variation in the ability to break through the biodegradable film. A variety may look good on paper but if it cannot break through the plastic it is of no use at all. A high potential dry matter and starch yield is desirable to fully capitalise on the gains that can be achieved by growing the crop using this system.

There is a measurable improvement in the availability of phosphate as soil temperature increases. Provided the soil indices are adequate, which must be determined by analysis beforehand, the higher soil temperatures under the plastic film remove the need to apply expensive MAP/DAP as starter fertiliser.

The considerable benefits of growing forage maize under biodegradable plastic film are already well recognised and accepted. The process is widely practised in Ireland where 65% of the forage maize crop is produced in this way. The specialists at Wynnstay can offer advice on all aspects of growing maize under plastic film, please contact us if you would like more information.

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