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Plan now to meet crop challenges

Environmental factors – terrain, climate, soil properties and soil water – all influence crop yield and quality and determine which crops can be grown in certain areas. 

Climate change, which means more weather extremes from wet conditions in the winter and early spring through to drought in the summer, is proving to be a challenge for producers.

They are faced with selecting crops that will maximise the production and quality of home-grown forage while, at the same time, selecting the correct crop for their soil and the changing climate.

After maize

Maize stubble is a major cause for concern, so utilising early maize varieties and land that is more free draining, or at less risk of being wet at harvest, will allow for a follow-on crop to be sown in the late autumn.

Future plantings need to reviewed and planned early to maximise all opportunities while also considering the benefits and effect on the environment. 

maize stubble

Evaluating crop performance

The previous crop performance is a key area to review. Consider establishment levels and weed control issues, as well as yields.

Undertaking soil testing now and rectifying any problem areas will benefit the follow-on crop while also minimising soil erosion. Looking at alternative crops is an option.

In dry conditions it could be work considering the suitability of lucerne or clover as an alternative protein source. 

For more information

ForFarmers can support producers in reviewing crop plans while, at the same time, ensuring that productivity, quality and environmental effects are considered.

For more information on maximising your forage or crop plans please speak to your local ForFarmers Forage Specialist or send us an online enquiry here