Good maize, miserable maize: Interview with AGRAVIS experts
In the early summer, the maize was under water in some regions of Germany for days. In September the sun was blazing onto the fields. The harvest began two weeks earlier than normal in some parts of Germany. AGRAVIS plant cultivation sales expert Dr. Stefan Wichmann explains how the maize is.
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Too wet, too dry: how has the maize faired the unsettled early summer and the summery early autumn?
Wichmann: In Westphalia somewhat bad. There we must sadly assume miserable yields and quality. In other regions, such as Weser-Ems or in eastern Lower Saxony, there has been a lot of good maize.
What problems did the farmers have when harvesting?
Wichmann: The problem is, when the maize, due to the bad root development following the wet in the early summer, suddenly ripens. Planning the correct harvesting time is therefore a challenge because not all of the areas reached silo-ripeness at the same time. Contrary to the previous year's very late harvest begin, the harvest of 2016 was up to three weeks earlier.
What yield and quality can be assumed?
Wichmann: We will experience everything with regard to yield and quality. As said: in Westphalia we can clearly assume a below-average yield. Otherwise, the yield is normal. The dry matter content of the maize silages will be commonly very high due to the quick ripening.
Can you see signs that the harvesting course for maize is moving, that is: due to the changing weather the harvest generally begins earlier rather than later?
Wichmann: It is difficult to say. In 2015 we experienced the exact opposite. Low temperatures and clearly slow ripening until into October and low dry matter content. It is probable that the extremes are becoming more frequent, as many forecast.