Duo planting maize could be the answer for farmer looking for high starch and high digestibility, said David Bright of David Bright Seeds.
Speaking on a forage maize trip to France, Mr Bright explained how you cannot have a single maize variety that is high in both starch and digestibility.
“For farmers looking for both qualities, it is worthwhile selecting two different varieties – one for high starch and one for high digestible fibre. In this way, farmers can receive the benefits from both.”
By planting a 50/50 mix, with four rows of each variety repeated across the field, producers can have a 50/50 mix in the clamp.
“Farmers should choose two varieties with slightly different cut dates. Ideally one should be high in starch and low in stay green and come in at 35% dry matter. The other should have medium starch levels and high stay green and harvest at 32%.”
“This way of planting also provides a bigger cutting window and provides two types of starch – fast and slow digesting – giving a wider base for the rumen to work on.”
However, when choosing two varieties to plant in a duo, it is essential farmers consider plant height. “When one variety grows taller than the other, there is the potential for out competing, so similar size varieties should be selected.”