Game Maize

Maize is a semi-tropical crop, so a very careful start is needed, with particular attention to cultivation regime and soil temperature.

Pack Size

Read the label but usually 50,000 seeds.

Seed Rate

Drill at 40-42,000 seeds/acre or around 100,000 seeds/hectare.

Uses

Great for pheasant and partridge. Careful choice of variety will ensure good cover through to January.

Value

Excellent for drawing and holding birds. Maize can be draughty when planted on its own (sorghum or millet are good companions).

Sowing

April - May, when the soil is warm enough (min 10°C for five days).

Seedbed

A fairly loose seedbed is best, do not overwork it and lose the moisture. Remove any compaction by sub soiling. Apply FYM where available and plough in. If you are planting after long-term grass, the maize will need to be specially treated to protect against wireworm. Otherwise maize is usually treated with Maxim AP and Measurol which will deter birds from eating newly sown seed.

Drilling

Drill into moisture, which should be between 2-3 inches (drill deeper in lighter sandy soil to find moisture). Row width should be 20-30 inches, to allow game bird movement. Cross-drilling at flushing points is a good idea.

Roll

In most cases never roll maize, unless you are on very light soil and it is required to maintain moisture. Remember, any form of compaction around maize is bad news.

Fertiliser

(soil index 2)
N 80kg/ha; P 60kg/ha; K 180kg/ha.
Soil analysis is always advisable on new cover plots, or where the same crop has been grown for several years.

Bugs & Beasts

Not usually too many problems, although slugs will eat it before it comes up, and badgers/corvids can be a problem when the crop is ripe.

Weeds

Pre-emergence chemical is a good idea, which is a residual herbicide that is applied after drilling. The seed must be covered by two inches of settled soil. There is a range of products which can be used post emergence (consult your advisor).

Plant Disease

Look out for eyespot (brown leaves) - a disease which will slowly kill the plant - thrives in mild, damp conditions, late season.

Price

from £39.85 per 40,000 Mesurol

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