We have seen several crops in the last week that are much further ahead than we had expected to see at this stage, and many will be ready to chop in the next week. We have performed several oven dry matter tests and they are in the range of 27-33%. Make sure you don’t get caught out… go and check your maize crops now!
HOW TO CHECK YOUR CROP
Milk Line Test:
Break the cob open halfway down and remove one of the grain kernels. The milk line is where the solid starch ends and the liquid milk begins. The ideal is to have 75-100% of the kernel yellow in colour (starch) instead of being milky, and for no liquid to be excreted when pressed
Cut the stem of the plant at the same height of the forager header. Then squeeze the stalk to see how much moisture comes out. If it is easy to squeeze water out of the pith it is not ready to be cut, if very little it is ready to be foraged as long as you have assessed the cob also.
Pick 4-5 plants and chop them up to no more than 2 cm pieces. Weigh a baking tray and add 1kg of chopped maize, put it in the oven at just under 80oc for 8 hours, allow to cool and weigh again. If the weight is now 350 g more than the empty tray it is 35% dry matter.
The target dry matter for cutting 32-35% DM, if you get the standing maize in the field tested for dry matter the target for standing is 28%. We would suggest at this stage you get in touch with your contractor to book
If you are unsure, please give us a call as soon as possible and we will come and check for you.