Maize nightmare with crops in some regions not even worth harvesting
Published 02/08/2011 | 05:00
Some maize crops may not even be worth harvesting this year with yields back by as much as 30pc following a difficult growing season.
For farmers relying on the crop for high energy feed, the news could be even worse, with barely any cob formation on many crops and dry matters heading for just 50pc of last year's averages.
While those under plastic may escape some of the damage, it is the open crops that have taken the biggest hit.
Despite being planted in excellent conditions in April, a drought until late May hampered growth for much of the 60,000ac crop, according to John Foley of Maizetech.
He said that sharp frosts also took their toll across some part of the country until June.
"Growth had continued slowly up until the last two weeks, despite farmers' attempts to boost crop growth with liquid fertilisers," said Mr Foley. "But all the crop is lacking is heat and even though that situation has improved recently, I'm worried that it is just a case where it is too little, too late."
Crops under plastic are about one week behind, while those in the open are about three weeks behind. Yields on the open crop are expected to be down 30pc on last year, and those under plastic back by about 10pc.
Crops are starting to tassle now, but without a good cob formation, DM could be back as much as 50pc.