Treating maize crops with a combined fertiliser and fungicide treatment at tasselling stage has been proven to pay dividends.
Applying nitrogen (N) in the form of urea in the later stages of crop development allows the maize to utilise the nutrient during the critical growth stages. This isn’t common practice, but is a method that is highly recommended if growers want to provide the best nutrition for their maize crop.
Traditionally, N is applied to the seedbed at drilling, but the peak demand from the crop occurs much later in the season and by this point there is significantly less of the early applied N left to fuel cob-development. This can impact cob size, kernel number and starch yield, consequently affecting the quality of the silage in the clamp.
If growers have the opportunity to apply fertiliser later in the season they will see the results in the field. But obviously you can’t spin on granular fertiliser when the crop is shoulder high, which is why slow release foliar nitrogen is used.
Results in the field
Wynnstay agronomists have achieved extremely good results using N-Durance 28. Gareth Mitchell in North Wales has applied a tank-mix of N-Durance 28 and the fungicide Vivid to boost yield whilst at the same time reducing Eyespot in maize. The tank-mix is applied just before the plants begin to tassel in early July. Forage analysis from treated and untreated areas of crops show higher DM%, higher starch % and higher ME were recorded where the plants received an application of the N-Durance 28 and fungicide mixture.
Similar improvements to forage maize have been reported by Wynnstay agronomist Cefi n Evans who looks after crops in West Wales. In addition to applications to maize, Cefin has also had extremely encouraging results from applying N-Durance 28 to cereals and to fodder beet.
Foliar applications of slow release urea, at later stages of the crops’ development, have proved to be extremely cost effective and both agronomists intend to use the approach more widely this season.
Dr Simon Pope BASIS FACTS BETA