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Utilising land after maize harvest

Getting land back into production quickly after a maize harvest can be the difference between having a crop for the spring that can be utilised or having expensive land out of production for a period of time. 

If you are looking for a grass forage crop to establish after maize, then the choice of species is crucial. Late sowing can be difficult for non-aggressive options, including clovers. Aggressive, fast establishing grasses are best as they will get away well before winter sets in.  

Forage rye is a catch crop option as is suitable for early turnout for cows and good for winter sheep keep.

If you are looking for a green manure then a rye and vetch mix are a late season option which will give excellent overwinter cover and improve soil nutrient and organic matter levels dramatically. These can be drilled and left in till late spring. As bare soil is vulnerable to soil erosion and nutrient leaching, planting the right species is definitely the best way to prepare for winter.

Afbeelding: After Maize

Forage Rye

Forage rye provides a flexible sowing option after maize and can be grazed or baled. It is good for helping to mop up residual nitrogen and prevents soil erosion. It is a useful provider of early spring grazing. 

Green Manuring Mixture  

N-Rich Cover Mixture  
80% Forage rye / 20% Winter vetch. 

Provides an excellent cover crop for the winter. Vetch are fast growing and have a very prolonged growing season combined with excellent winter hardiness as well as having the advantage of being able to fix nitrogen at lower temperatures than other legumes. 

Forage rye is deep rooting which provides a good underground network for the plant to scavenge most of the nitrogen left by the previous crop. It provides early spring grazing.

Grass options


25kg bags. Sowing Rate 10-16kg /Acre

  • Fastest establishing forage grass
  • Can be in production from 8 weeks of sowing
  • Suitable for cutting and grazing
  • Highest yielding ryegrass
  • When sown in autumn offers good winter cover and has very early spring growth


25kg bags. Sowing Rate 12-16kg /Acre

  • Short term, highly productive Italian mix
  • 50/50 mix of tetraploids and diploids
  • Rapid establishment
  • Can be cut or grazed

SPRINTER - Short term Italian / Westerwolds

25kg bags. Sowing Rate 13-16kg /Acre

  • Mix of 50% Westerwolds & 50%Tetraploid Italian Ryegrass
  • Very vigorous to establish
  • Responsive to high fertiliser inputs
  • Very good disease resistance

As it is not advised to sow clover after September and certainly when frosts are around we can still supply our standard mixtures without clover. However, it is important to note that late sowing of grass may not have the opportunity to get established.

For more information

For further information on the sowing opportunities after maize, our range of additives or for forage advice please contact your local ForFarmers Forage Specialist or send us an online enquiry:

Contact a Forage Specialist