Maize fertilization: the correct amount of N, P and K is significant.
Silage maize, has a high nitrogen requirement, as well as a high demand for phosphate and potash. Phosphate is often poorly available for young maize plants, especially under wet, cold, and dry conditions, or when the soil is compacted. In the juvenile phase, the maize root system is still poorly developed. Phosphate deficiency often shows as red or violet discoloration. Potassium controls water uptake and regulates the stomata. In addition, potassium influences assimilation in the grain. Potassium is best applied with phosphorus and nitrogen as a complex fertilizer before cultivation or used in addition to farm fertilizers. Some of the nutrient requirements are covered using cattle manure or by recycling the fermentation residues from biogas plants.
Demand and extraction quantities of silage maize
Zinc (Zn) from the 6-leaf stage, boron (B) enhances fecundation
The table shows the uptake and removal per tonne of silage maize dry-mass yield. Silage maize needs mainly nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Sulphur and magnesium must also be present in appropriate amounts.
For example, a silage maize yield of 20t/ha takes up 240kg N/ha. Assuming 40kg N/ha of N replenishment from the soil and 20kg N/ha from the leguminous intermediate crop, 180kg N/ha would need to be added in fertilizer. Because the entire plant is harvested, these 240kg/ha will be removed from the field but eventually returned in part as manure or fermentation residues.