Seed Rates and Drilling

Getting the most from maize largely depends on drilling at the right time and in good conditions. When to start drilling will depend on soil conditions, temperature and seedbed moisture.

Modern hybrids have a high degree of cold tolerance but should not be drilled before soils have reached an even temperature for 3-4 days (8°C for light soils, 10°C for heavy soils) to give the best possible establishment.


To check your seed rates and required units, please use the calculator on the right;

Considerations before drilling

  • Soil temperature
  • Seed bed and soil structure
  • Moisture availability
  • Short term weather forecast

Effects of premature drilling

  • Slowed germination
  • Uneven emergence
  • Reduced nutrient uptake

Effects of late drilling

  • Delayed harvesting
  • Requirement for earlier maturing varieties
  • Increased risk of lodging

Considerations for using placement fertilisers

  • Soil type (heavy, medium or light soils)
  • Drilling date (early, late)
  • Site and yield potential (e.g. warm site with light soils, cold site with heavy soils)

Maize Seed Rate Calculator



  • Maize seed rate table download [pdf | 0.07 MB] pdf Download
  • Maize drilling - making the most of maize CPM March 2017 [pdf | 0.32 MB] pdf Download