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New Zealand Plant Protection 68 (2015): 118-123

Identification and enumeration of weed seeds in chopped maize being transported for silage

T.K. James, C.A. Dowsett and M.R. Trolove

ABSTRACT

Maize silage is an important dairy feed supplement and is often transported many kilometres from where it is grown to where it is ensiled. Debris has been observed to blow from the transporting trucks as they travel along the road, raising concerns about the spread of weeds. In this study, trucks carrying freshly chopped maize were intercepted as they departed the field and samples from inside and outside the loaded crate were collected and analysed for weed seeds. Seeds from 15 weed species were found in numbers up to 1300 seeds/kg of freshly chopped maize. Generally, more seed was found in trucks collecting from the headland area compared with the main crop area, and additionally in the first year there was more debris on the outside of the headland trucks. Some mitigating practices to reduce the potential for dispersal of weed seeds in chopped maize are discussed.

Keywords: weed seeds, maize silage, yellow bristle grass, Setaria pumila.

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