Reducing seed rates can sometimes help make maize crops more drought resistant, believes Grainseed forage specialist Wilson Hendry.
“Lower seed rates could help limit moisture competition between plants and produce stronger growing crops more able to take up available nutrients.
“There is also a school of thought that says earlier drilling than normal may help in situations where conditions are steadily drying.
“But you need to be careful. Maize is a subtropical crop and will only germinate at 10 – 12ºC and drilling is best when this is on a rising scale.
“To ensure successful establishment, therefore, you need soil temperatures of at least 10°C for four consecutive days at a depth of 10cm when taken at breakfast time.”