Technical Resources

Growing quality maize silage

No single feed can meet the changing nutrient requirements of high producing dairy cows. For most of the year, New Zealand dairy pastures have high levels of crude protein but carbohydrate levels are below cow requirement. Maize silage is the perfect partner for pasture because it is a high carbohydrate lower protein feed. Maize silage delivers an excellent source of rumen – available carbohydrates which allows the rumen microbes to convert more of the pasture protein into milk, increasing rumen efficiency and decreasing the amount of nitrogen excreted by the cow.

Osflo differs from other fertilisers in the sense that the elements are in different forms. Some are quick release and some are slow. For example 18 to 20% of the Nitrogen would be available immediately and the balance would be released over time. The same applies for the phosphate in OSFLO. This has an advantage as it supplies Nitrogen and other elements for the entire growing period of the crop. If this was released all at once Nitrogen would be lost into the ground water and would be of little use to the crop.

Growing quality maize silage

What's covered in the Guide?

Read our Maize guide for insights on how to spot deficiencies in your Maize crops and more.

Every maize grower should be able to recognise the danger signs and should check fields several times during the growing season. Our guide shares what to look out for and what it means.

Potash deficiency shows up as a firing or browning along the edges of the leaves nearest the ground. Another symptom is darkish-brown discoloration of the nodes of the stalk which may be revealed by slicing the stalk lengthwise. While lack of potash may not have as much effect on the size of the ears as either phosphate or nitrogen shortage, kernels at the tip do not develop and nubbins are chaffy.

Nitrogen deficiencies are not so easy to detect in the early stages of growth, and severe symptoms rarely appear until after plants have passed the knee-high stage. Nevertheless, if young plants tend to have a light yellowish-green appearance as contrasted with the dark green of healthy plants, a nitrogen shortage is indicated. This usually can be corrected by side dressing. Special
nitrogen testers for maize also can help with the diagnosis.

Although only relatively small amounts of fertiliser nutrients are required in the very early stages of plant growth, high concentrations of nutrients in the root zone at that time are beneficial in promoting early plant growth. This is the period when all the different plant parts are being initiated and begin to grow. Even though the amount of nutrients taken up is relatively small, final size of the leaves, ear and other plant parts depends to a large degree upon having an adequate supply of nutrients available to the plant during this early part of the growing season.

Most of the dry weight of the plant consists of organic carbonaceous materials resulting from photosynthesis and subsequent processes. At least 12 nutrient elements must be taken up for the maize plant to grow and develop normally. An adequate supply of each nutrient at each stage is essential for optimum growth at all stages.

Download the full Maize technical guide

The complete natural fertiliser

If you have any questions or concerns about growing quality maize silage, give the team at Osflo Fertiliser a call.

Give our team a call