Seeding grass in maize

Developed to establish a fast growing crop of grass between maize rows, the Zocon Greenseeder can play a key role in tackling concerns over nitrate leaching.

by Steven Vale

2 Jun 2021

That is the message from Kevin Mowbray, the sole UK importer of the Dutch-developed and made machine. Working in partnership with contractor Paul Roe, the two men sold a number of units in the UK last year.

Available in six, eight, 10 and 12 row formats for 75cm row spacings, and a 12-row version for maize spaced at 50cm, grass seed is splash-plate sown across the full inter-row width, generally at rates of 8.0-16kg/ha. The 1.0m of ground clearance enables grass seed to be undersown at different stages of maize plant growth usually until sometime mid-late June.

Available with 150, 300 and 450-litre seed hoppers (electric fan drive), the seed rate automatically adjusts to the forward speed, which is up to a maximum of 15km/hr.

“We are almost at the peak time for planting grass seeds between the rows of maize and the Greenseeder not only sows the seeds but the 10mm tines hoes the soil help to take out small weeds and release mineral nitrates,” comments Mr Mowbray.

He is convinced that this practice is going to become ever important as increased legislation on protecting soils and reducing erosion and nitrate leaching becomes more and more prominent.

“The benefits to sowing into a growing crop of maize are a stronger and more even establishment and a larger plant capable of using up any remaining nitrogen that the maize does not use.”

Despite the light weight of 1.3t, the Greenseeder is described as a strong piece of kit. On-farm price of an eight-row (nine elements) machine is around £16,000.