Maize silage is an integral part of the feeding program for many livestock farmers throughout New Zealand. Whether you’re a dairy farmer looking to fill feed deficits or extend lactation length, a beef farmer wanting to increase live weight gains, or a goat farmer wanting to provide a cost-effective base for your ration, maize silage is the leading environmentally sustainable home-grown supplementary feed option.
One of the most important post-planting activities is to regularly scout crops for emergence, disease, pests, nutrient deficiencies, weeds and other agronomic issues.
Like many other crops, maize is very sensitive to weed competition, making early-season weed control critical. Even where pre-emergent herbicides have been used, post-emergence control can be an effective weed management tool because it helps target or control specific weeds.
If you have not secured your maize seed, please reach out to your local TFO for recommendations.
Herbicide choice will depend on paddock weed history, soil type, maize growth stage, height, weed spectrum and size. It is best and more efficient to control weeds when they are smaller, provided they have sufficient leaf area to intercept chemicals.
By regularly scouting crops, potential problems can be identified in time, allowing sufficient time to develop the best possible solution. In farming, the main difference between success and failure is paying attention to detail and timeliness.
Corteva Sparta™ is a unique insecticide for the control of various pests in a range of crops, including maize.
- Very effective control of Fall Armyworm
- Fast acting: feeding ceases within minutes of contact
- Can be applied via ground or aerial applications
- Favorable toxicological and environmental profile
- Short re-entry interval (paddock monitoring)
- Minimal impact on beneficial insects
- Rainfast in 6 hours
The key to growing a great crop this spring is with a planned, strategic 3 step approach.
Step 1: A pre-plant clean up saves time
In spring, before establishing the crop, spray with CRUCIAL® to kill the existing vegetation. Starting the spray out process early gives time for existing weeds to die and any plant back periods of spike herbicides to be met. This clean-up provides the following benefits:
- Controls perennial weeds to minimise competition in the maize crop
- Reduces the tillage required to produce an excellent seedbed, saving time and money, because plant root breakdown has already been achieved by CRUCIAL®
- Keeps the paddock in production longer before spraying, because an extensive cultivation or fallow period is not required for the new crop
- Weather is less likely to delay planting, since you are not relying on so many suitable days for cultivation
- Add Pulse® Penetrant to increase stomatal penetration and provide a 15 minute* rainfast guarantee
Step 2: Pre – emergent weed control is key:
Controlling weeds early with a pre-emergent herbicide is CRUCIAL® in maximising maize yields.
Control annual weeds before they emerge and compete in the crop by applying Roustabout® 840 to the bare soil. Roustabout 840 is a high strength safened formulation which is applied soon after planting, (prior to crop and weed emergence). For best results apply within seven days of final cultivation.
- Its safener minimises damage to the maize during emergence, especially when conditions are less than desirable. This maximises the number of healthy maize plants that establish and grow to maturity.
- Provides up to 10 weeks pre-emergent weed control, a critical factor for maximum yield.
- Is effective in a wide range of soils and climates. For maximum efficacy, ensure the seedbed is clod free for even coverage and no hidden weeds.
- Doesn’t rely on incorporation although incorporation may be beneficial where dry conditions are expected to continue.
- For enhanced broadleaf control, tank-mix with Nu-Trazine™ 900DF or Flowable Atrazine 500
Step 3: The importance of Post – emergence weed control:
Post-emergence herbicides may also be required in a range of situations and it is important that they are chosen wisely. The weeds present (either broadleaf or grasses) will dictate which post-emergence herbicides are the most suitable.
Broadleaf Weed Control:
- Select the product depending on the target weed species
- Where a wide range of broadleaf weeds (e.g. triazine resistant fathen and black nightshade) appear in the established crop apply Kamba® 750, Primiera® or Emblem® Flo (either alone or tank-mixed with Nu-Trazine 900DF or Flowable Atrazine 500).
- Target specific weed problems by applying products such Archer® 750 for Californian thistles, yarrow, Bathurst bur and volunteer potatoes, and Valdo® 800WG for buttercups, mallow, mayweed or spurrey
- Add Bonza® Gold to improve deposition, wetting, spreading and uptake with Valdo 800WG and Primiera
Grass Weed Control:
- If grasses are your problem (e.g. perennial and summer grasses) apply Latro® WG
- Nutgrass a problem? Sempra® is ideal for post emergent control of purple and yellow nutsedge
- Add Bonza Gold adjuvant
For all agchem products, always consult the label before use.
Talk to us to find out how to get the most out of your maize crop this spring.
DAP from Ballance is a cost-effective starter fertiliser which helps promote even emergence of the crop and ensures the seedlings get an early dose of N and P. Alternatively, use YaraMila 12-10-10 or YaraMila Actyva S 15-7-12.5 to incorporate additional K via a free flowing, easy to handle drillable fertiliser. A side dressing of SustaiN is essential to achieve yield potential.
Ensure you get a soil test and fertiliser recommendation to get the most out of your maize crop.
*For all agchem products, always consult the label before use.