Advice on tightening corn at the end of the harvest

Maize is harvested from all parts of the UK, with good yields reported in the field.

Heavy rains last week put work on a standstill for a few days, but the soils quickly dried up and everyone is chopping again, reports Neil Groom, technical director of forage specialist Grainseed.

Chopping speed

“Let the buckrake control the hash speed. Getting a high density in the gripper is important to reduce losses during silage and hauling, ”he advises.

Compaction wheels are a good idea, he says, because they increase rolling weight. However, he cautions that they should be used from the start of the gripper in order to achieve high density throughout.

See also:Should bulky corn crops be cut high?

The buckrake and rolling tractors must be equal to 25% of the weight (in tons) entering the clamp. For example, if an 18 t trailer arrives every 10 minutes, it means that more than 100 t are clamped per hour. Therefore, you must have 25 tons of rolling weight i.e. at least two machines running all the time.


After the corn has been in the gripper for four weeks, the samples should be sent for analysis, advises Groom.

“Sample from the face at all heights and mix the sample thoroughly before downsampling. Believe in the results and challenge the cows to eat more forage.

He says forages should be sampled monthly afterwards with a nutritionist, so rations can be adjusted to optimize forage use.

He adds, “Also make a monthly feed budget, especially as the winter progresses, so you can make the most of the cheaper feeds you have produced on your own farm. “


Chris Blake, sampling for Farmers Weekly in Devon, has now harvested its maize. “Our crops produced a good yield which, considering the wet and cold month of May, I am happy with,” he says.

The harvest was a week later than normal due to the wet spring, but the harvest yielded 42.2 t / ha (17.2 t / ac) at 32% dry matter.

“We would normally be Italians after the corn for the young cattle to graze next March, but I have changed the rotation and am sowing wheat, because I think the grass seedlings will be too small in the winter. to hold the ground together on some of our slopes, ”says Blake, who runs a fall calving dairy herd.

“We rely on corn for its energy to maintain milk in the early stages of lactation. We are very happy that, despite a difficult spring, our corn crops have once again performed well. This ensures that we are producing as much milk from forage as possible and reducing the number of trucks coming down the farm, ”adds Mr. Blake.

Dry matter of corn in the UK

To place

Drilling date

Height above sea level (m)

Dry matter culture on
October 5

Increase compared to last week


Petworth, Sussex

April 27



51 t / ha (20.7 t / acre) at 34.6% dry matter

Harleston, Norfolk

May 1



44.5 t / ha (18 t / acre)

Créditon, Devon

22 april



42.2 t // ha (17.2 t / acre) at 32% dry matter

Ticknall, Derbyshire

April 26



To confirm

Narbeth, South Wales

May 11



55 t / ha (22 t / acre) (ranging from 32 to 38% dry matter)

SRUC, Dumfries, Scotland (under film)

April 14



+ 0.5

Note: Variety – Es Tommen; variety under film – Es Lovely

Source Link

Please follow and like us: