Getting the nutrition right for the maize crop can mean that a number of applications are required, with each pass increasing the risk of compaction. Suspensions offer a one-pass tailored nutrition approach as they can include the specific NPK requirements of the field, along with any sulphur, magnesium and micronutrient requirement.
Maize is no longer simply a forage crop grown to feed livestock, it is being used increasingly to produce feedstock for the growing number of AD plants in the UK.
A Useful Break Crop
Maize can offer advantages in arable rotations and can be useful as part of an effective black grass control strategy and valuable in the management of other persistent weeds, pests and diseases which can build up in a cereal and oilseed rotation. Maize grown for AD processing also supplements the waste from vegetable trimmings and it is therefore also becoming a feature on or around vegetable production units.
Simplifying Nitrogen Application
It is common practice to split the nitrogen application for maize, between the seedbed and a top-dressing application. Top-dressing maize can pose a problem in some situations, due to the architecture of the crop and rapid stem extension once it becomes established. The leaf morphology of a young maize plant is often funnel- like, with the cotyledon and first few leaves potentially catching top-dressed nitrogen and retaining it at the growing point. This can lead to scorch from the top-dressing, potentially delaying establishment.
To address both of these potential nitrogen management issues, an increasing number of maize growers are using Didin to control the conversion of ammonium nitrogen to nitrate nitrogen in the soil, spreading the release of nitrate over 6 to 12 weeks. As a result, all the nitrogen can be applied in the seedbed along with the rest of the nutrient requirements in a complete tailor-made suspension.
Boosting Fertiliser Response
The efficiency of the suspension can be enhanced further by the inclusion of the phosphate protecting polymer Polymex, which delays the immobilisation of the phosphate by cations in the soil, primarily calcium and magnesium.
One-Pass Crop Nutrition
Getting the nutrition right for the maize crop can mean that a number of applications are required, with each pass increasing the risk of compaction. Compaction is one of the main obstacles to the effective establishment of the crop; maize ideally requires a spade-depth of loose soil to get established without restriction.
Suspensions offer a one-pass tailored nutrition approach as they can include the specific NPK requirements of the field, along with any sulphur, magnesium and micronutrient requirement plus Didin to allow all the nitrogen to be included in the seedbed. Depending on the weed control approach, it can also be possible to include the pre-emergence herbicide with the application of suspension fertilisers, allowing a single pass across the field.