Livestock 2013: Maize varieties suitable for biogas identified

Producers of biogas can simplify the choice of which maize variety to use as a feedstock for Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants thanks to a new descriptive list from the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), published at the Livestock Event.

Featuring 12 varieties from four seed houses, BSPB’s Biogas Maize Descriptive List 2014 highlights each variety’s Metaboliable Energy yield (indicative of potential biogas output), dry matter yield, early vigour and standing power.

Varieties are divided between those suited to Favourable and Less Favourable growing areas.

Speaking at its launch at the Livestock Event 2013, BSPB chairman Brendan Paul said the new list recognised that crop production requirements for AD differ to that of livestock feed.

“Whilst not an exclusive list of potentially suitable commercially available varieties, BSPB is simplifying the variety choice for biogas producers and delivering effective and relevant variety data that producers can understand and trust.”

Figures used by BSPB suggest 10% of the national maize crop in 2013 – estimated at around 15,500ha – was grown for biogas feedstock; double that of 2012.

More news on AD and renewables from the Livestock event: AD advice service launched for farmers

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