Six new varieties on BSPB’s annual maize lists

The British Society of Plant Breeders’ (BSPB) 2021 Forage Maize Descriptive Lists, published today (1 September), feature six new first-choice varieties.

Niab forage crop specialist Ellie Sweetman believes having a range of forage sources has become even more pertinent with the extended periods of both dry and wet weather in the growing season.

“Using the Descriptive Lists to identify high ME, digestible maize varieties with good starch content that grow well in your location and conditions can help ensure forage use is optimised with efficient conversion into meat and milk that meets demands of processors,” says Ms Sweetman. 

“Higher cell wall digestibility can help support butterfat levels in dairy cows, whereas higher starch can reduce the need for more expensive concentrate feeds for both dairy and beef producers.”

Three years of trial data now contribute to a “Very Favourable” list, which includes varieties that may be suitable for producers growing to maximise yield as a feedstock for anaerobic digesters where sites have a long growing season and very favourable conditions

See also: 5 practical ways to lift milk from forage

Favourable sites

Ms Sweetman highlights a few key characteristics of the additions to the list:

  • Resolute The top of the list with an excellent dry matter yield of 19t DM/ha and good cell wall digestibility at 60.6% at 32.5% DM.
  • Conclusion Strong all-rounder with excellent yields (18.6t DM/ha) for its maturity (33%), an ME at harvest of 12 MJ/kg DM and a very good standing power of 7.7.
  • Trooper Strong all-rounder, providing a very good ME of 11.84 MJ/kg DM, starch at 34.3% DM and an excellent standing power of 8.1.
  • Farmunox The latest maturing of the new varieties but still achieves 31.2% DM.
  • Ability Scores 8.1 for standing power with second-highest dry matter yield of the new varieties at 18.8%.
  • KWS Artikus The earliest maturing of the new first choice additions with an average 36.2% DM content at harvest across the trial sites. It also has the highest starch on the list at 35.4%.

Less favourable sites

The new varieties on the list for more challenging growing conditions include:

  • Resolute
  • Farmunox
  • Ability
  • Conclusion
  • Trooper

The full lists are available on the 2021 Forage maize descriptive list (PDF).