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Thread: Planting maize Under plastic.

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    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Planting maize Under plastic.

    Here what we did Easter Sunday in that deep red loam mentioned in the other thread.

    But the ploughing was a few days previous.



    Headlands sown with spring barley 10 days earlier.












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    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Three weeks between pics.




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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimF View Post
    Three weeks between pics.



    Lovely bit of dirt that, looks like it would grow a grand crop o spuds if you where brave enough ,,,, is the maize looking good, barly looks all right
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Jim

    What pre-em are they putting on again? Is it Wing-P or straight PDM?

    Have heard of the odd problem with the plastic maize, first off seed bed needs to be 100% because the soil holds the film down, otherwise the whole lot can blow away.

    Second, do you ever see any problems with slugs under there?

    Third, do you ever have to over-spray with more weed control?

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    By god I wish I had just one field with soil like that!!! Is the tractor in your avatar yours?

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    Senior Member ladycrofter's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    I had seen plastic like that around here and wondered how they do it - must be a fascinating machine to work with. Does the plastic degrade or do you have to lift it?

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladycrofter View Post
    I had seen plastic like that around here and wondered how they do it - must be a fascinating machine to work with. Does the plastic degrade or do you have to lift it?
    Was thinking that myself about what they do with the plastic, had to drive to bath via radstock fairly high land up there acres u der plastic < is that some of yours Olly???> land looks very brashy
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Jim

    What pre-em are they putting on again? Is it Wing-P or straight PDM?

    Have heard of the odd problem with the plastic maize, first off seed bed needs to be 100% because the soil holds the film down, otherwise the whole lot can blow away.

    Second, do you ever see any problems with slugs under there?

    Third, do you ever have to over-spray with more weed control?
    We're new to plastic. Grown maize up here for over 20 years now but it's only last year and this that we've done it with plastic. Had a few crap summers and last year it was just late sown after giving up and ploughing out some naff winter barley.
    The contractor likes good fine deep soil/seedbed so there plenty free flowing stuff to push on to the plastic to hold it down. Clods just roll off and that's when wind can get under it and blow it away.
    Never had bother with slugs before. The barley (Sanette) you see on the headland has had leather jackets and been treated. Haven't had leather jacket bother on maize ever before. So it's not sprayed. Never seen slugs either.

    I wouldn't be frightened of sending sprayer in later in season if we have to. Samson and Calaris is what we've used in the past. There's another too :/



    The plastic degrades. There'll be next to nothing there by Oct.

    This was a plastic covered field from last Oct;


    By god I wish I had just one field with soil like that!!! Is the tractor in your avatar yours?
    We're lucky enough to be farming 600acres mostly like that, but however we're mainly tenant farmers.
    Tractor in avatar is from down your way, ish. Wilts, it's the TH White's bloke's 1884. First one made.

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Is there any point in using maize under plastic in Gloucestershire?

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    We're lucky enough to be farming 600acres mostly like that, but however we're mainly tenant farmers.
    Tractor in avatar is from down your way, ish. Wilts, it's the TH White's bloke's 1884. First one made.
    Ah, I know who you mean. Were tenants mostly as well, been thinking of trying one of those stone pickers but I'm worried I'd have no soil left if I take all the stone away!

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Vern View Post
    Was thinking that myself about what they do with the plastic, had to drive to bath via radstock fairly high land up there acres u der plastic < is that some of yours Olly???> land looks very brashy
    Hi Vern

    I know the bits of maize you mean, those two aren't mine but I have bits all over the shop around there. That stuff was wasn't drilled all that long ago, ironically some was done the same weekend down near Bruton and that wasn't under plastic.

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Hi Vern

    I know the bits of maize you mean, those two aren't mine but I have bits all over the shop around there. That stuff was wasn't drilled all that long ago, ironically some was done the same weekend down near Bruton and that wasn't under plastic.
    Would you use plastic for maize then?
    I saw some maize planted in the severn vale this weekend under plastic and thought what a waste of money.... After all we do live in Glorious Gloucestershire

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Gawd! Ignore the crops! that soil looks good enough to eat!

    JV

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robot milker View Post
    Would you use plastic for maize then?
    I saw some maize planted in the severn vale this weekend under plastic and thought what a waste of money.... After all we do live in Glorious Gloucestershire
    We grow maize alongside the 303 nr martock no need for plastic, we are between 50-60m the maize up at radstock would be double that probably neare 200m I expect they need it to force it on,,, your right it deare enough to grow with any more costing,,,,
    Big Vern..... Stay low Move faster

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    There a field beside us was in maize under plastic about 8yrs ago was ploughed up this year again the amount of plastic is unbelievable!!

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robot milker View Post
    Is there any point in using maize under plastic in Gloucestershire?
    Quote Originally Posted by Robot milker View Post
    Would you use plastic for maize then?
    I saw some maize planted in the severn vale this weekend under plastic and thought what a waste of money.... After all we do live in Glorious Gloucestershire
    Yeah, there have been a few fields around here in the past 3-4 years. Grain maize I can understand why you'd do it, but there's plenty enough forage maize grown around here that seems to do very well so I fail to see where you get the extra revenue back to pay for the plastic/hassle.

    Anybody know how much over and above normal maize drilling it costs? Seen NAAC prices suggesting 2.5x the amount but wasn't sure if that included plastic or not. They are applying a pre-em spray though at the same time I guess so it saves 10/ac in a contractor sprayer pass.

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robot milker View Post
    Would you use plastic for maize then?
    I saw some maize planted in the severn vale this weekend under plastic and thought what a waste of money.... After all we do live in Glorious Gloucestershire
    It costs about 120/acre for the plastic and drilling alone.

    I personally am not convinced. If you have brash type ground that is not facing the wrong way and isn't stupidly high up, you will be able to plant and harvest at the same time as someone who has done theirs under plastic.

    I had a field of Severus last year which was drilled Mid April. Another customer drill their Karriol I think under plastic nearly the same time, yet the first customer harvested first.

    I am unconvinced that the maize is higher yielding or better from plastic alone. Certainly it will be harvest date forward.

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    It costs about 120/acre for the plastic and drilling alone.

    I personally am not convinced. If you have brash type ground that is not facing the wrong way and isn't stupidly high up, you will be able to plant and harvest at the same time as someone who has done theirs under plastic.

    I had a field of Severus last year which was drilled Mid April. Another customer drill their Karriol I think under plastic nearly the same time, yet the first customer harvested first.

    I am unconvinced that the maize is higher yielding or better from plastic alone. Certainly it will be harvest date forward.

    Inclined to agree. If it was that great, everyone would be doing it everywhere.

  19. #19
    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Yes, it's expensive, and that's why we've grown it for 20 years without plastic. The jury is still out as far as we're concerned.
    In it's defence; A lorry load of feed is between 6000 -7000 and we use more than 12 loads in a season. The plastic in that field cost less than half a lorry load.
    Also wheat does quite well here after maize, 4ton or even once 5 ton/acre. Putting plastic on brings maize harvest date forward, therefore allowing us to get a good crop of wheat established better.

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Fair enough for doing up north to bring your crop forward and to get your next crop of wheat in i can see your reasons.But down Gloucestershire No...! Maybe someone on here who is growing maize under plastic in Gloucestershire can air their views....................

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Out of interest Jim, what was your reasoning for drilling the headlands with barley? Easier drilling, or easier harvesting?

    I have seen plastic fields done without plastic on the headland before as a trial/comparison but it somewhat defeated the point to me from a harvesting perspective.

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    Senior Member 4wd's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Presumably the amount of plastic used is not that much more than a heavy crop of wrapped bales - it looks very fine.

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    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    It is easier harvesting without doubt. However last years was like that because it was a failed winter barley area in a field. The barley was given every chance to recover right up until mid May. Plastic was used then to see if we could make it catch up with the earlier sown, non plastic maize.

    This year it was a 40 acre field and we felt 40acre of plastic covered maize was maybe too many eggs in one basket. The weather over the last 5 or 6 years has turned very unpredictable and extreme. Last summer was near perfect after the very cold spring. This summer my prediction is; it's going to be a drought or a flood and it won't be anything in between.

  24. #24
    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Just a progress picture. Will post one every two or three weeks.

    Last edited by JimF; 12-07-14 at 02:19 PM.

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    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Looking at it yesterday.




    See where the little bit of plastic came off and the difference.

    Last edited by JimF; 12-07-14 at 02:26 PM.

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimF View Post
    Looking at it yesterday.



    See where the little bit of plastic came off and the difference.

    Spring barley looks amazing!

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    looking as good as most around here 450 miles south

  28. #28
    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steakeater View Post
    Spring barley looks amazing!
    Oddly enough that's our poorest spring barley out of the 4 lots we have.

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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    Looking well! How many feet above sea level are you? How long have you been growing it? Have 74 acres (100% of our maize) under plastic this year and pleased with it despite less than ideal seedbeds!

  30. #30
    Senior Member JimF's Avatar
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    Re: Planting maize Under plastic.

    We're about 500ft and growing it for well over 20years. We got into it because we had limited slurry storage back then and often a dry March or April meant it was too late for putting slurry on to grassland.
    Also having maize could be a little bit of insurance if we got a dry summer and light second cut, then the maize was there for back up.

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