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Growing Maize

Drilling Maize After A Grass Ley

If drilling maize after a grass ley, even a short term ley, the seed should be Poncho treated for wireworms. After a long term ley you really should use Poncho dressed seed for three years in succession after the ley as wireworms can be worse in years 2 & 3 after ploughing than in year 1. Plants if not treated will look ok until approximately the 6 leaf stage when they start to go purple and limp and will break at ground level where the wireworm has bored into the stalk. There is no chemical control available to control wireworms only seed treatment.

This picture demonstrates what damage can be done

Wireworm Damage

Nutrient Requirement For Maize

It is most important that the soil is checked for ACIDITY, (pH or Lime Test) PHOSPHATE & POTASH and that they are corrected, as maize is a very fast growing crop so needs the nutrients to be very readily available.

The effect of either not using MAP down the spout or reducing the rate, which as the pictures below show can be a false economy and not get your crop off to a good start.

Now that a large majority of our area is in an NVZ it is vital to keep a record of all organic manures spread and if slurry has been applied that it must be incorparated ASAP or within 24 hours (quite easy for an inspector to see from his car).

Our agronomist have the programmes to work out the crop requirement, the N P & K from FYM/Slurry applied and can give you a recommendation for what fertilizer that you will require.

Even though these are not brilliant photographs, it clearly shows the effect of using MAP down the spout at drilling compared to without any. So even given the price increase it would be unwise to try and cut cost, as it clearly shows a great impact on plant growth.

Weed Control

Weeds can easily out-compete maize crops, swamping them during the early establishment phase in May & June (the old saying keep it weed free for the first 90 Days) We now have a comprehensive range of products either Pre, Early Post or Post emergence of the crop, but we feel in this region with it’s often cold springs the use of a pre-emergent product take the pressure off should we be held up with the changeable weather and possibility of getting the job done.

Weed Control


This is not related to the eyespot disease seen in wheat crops. The first symptoms likely to be seen in a crop infected by eyespot are smallish round or translucent spots, these spots are 1 to 4 mm in diameter with a typically light brown centre surrounded by a purple-brown ring with a yellow ‘halo’.This pathogen over-winters in crop debris and the spores, which quickly develop, can transfer to a new crop via rain splash. Spores are also wind borne. Although the disease can attack the plant thought out the growing season, it tends to be associated with plants nearing maturity during which there are cool and damp conditions caused by higher than average rainfall Stubble hygiene is very important – eyespot attack can be greatly encourage if debris from previous crop is left on the soil surface over the winter months (give the extreme cold winter of 2009 the low temperatures did not seem to reduce the incidence) To reduce the impact of an eyespot infection in high risk growing areas such as North Devon, a fungicidal spray should be applied in the early growth stages, but not too early as no product will give total persistence (most only control or protect the crop for a guaranteed 28 days from applicationIn 2011 it proved that in most cases an application in 1st week in August did a superb job and only needed to be repeated again in a very few cases Watch for fusaruim as if following with Winter Wheat can cause problems.

An example of Eyespot.

Eyespot Damage

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