UK Farmers A-Maized by Wet Weather

The weather strikes again this time with rain putting a dampener on the UK maize harvest according to experts. Farmers Weekly has reported that the harvesting schedule for most farmers across the UK has been put back by up to four weeks already, and the rain looks set to continue as autumn sets in.

It all seems a little too familiar t last year’s harvest where poor weather again affected harvesting in the UK, not to mention the severe and catastrophic drought across the Atlantic ocean. Richard Camplin of Limagrain UK said, “If we get warm, persistent weather it will give the cobs a chance to mature and for growers to harvest mid- to late October. However, if we get prolonged periods of rain in October, it could lead to problems getting machinery on the field.”

And continued, “”Two bad years for maize could lead those on the margins of growing maize to consider other things, such as whole-crop, but people shouldn’t be hasty if they are thinking about moving away from maize.”

It has been well documented that the trade price of maize, cereals and grains has been inflated as a result of the varying extremes in weather for 2012, but more-strict quality control means that farmers and millers have been under added pressure against the elements.

Neil Groom of Grainseed has described this ‘mixed-bag’ of crops as having lots of variation occurring even within fields. “We have seen a wide range of crops from normal to very poor, and that can be in the same fields.

He has also suggested that the heavy moisture has and will continue to enhance the risk of diseases and severe conditions in the fields, he said “Poor soil management has also been evident this year, whether due to compaction or inadequate drainage in the soil. The rain has also caused leaching of nitrogen, leaving the crops hungry in many cases.”

And continued,  “Eyespot has been an issue throughout the South West and West coast. If eyespot has moved on to your crop within the last week, get out there and put a fungicide on. It needs to be put on at least one month prior to harvest,” he said.

www.fwi.co.uk

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