Wrong maize type choice can be a costly error

12 February 1999

Wrong maize type choice can be a costly error

PICKING the wrong maize variety can cost producers up to £363/ha (£147/acre) in lost performance, according to a new report.

Results of field scale variety trials in marginal and mainstream areas measuring yield, quality and likely animal performance were studied in the latest Kingshay report: Maize varieties for mainstream and marginal areas.

The best performing variety gave a £123/ha (£50/acre) advantage over the poorest variety in marginal area trials. This difference increased to £363/ha (£147/acre) in mainstream areas. Crops in the trial included established varieties and those making their debut in this years NIAB Descriptive List.

According to Kingshays Richard Simpson producers growing maize as a low cost quality feed should select varieties on a number of features. These should include cob ripeness, dry matter, early vigour and standing power and not just yield alone to get best financial return. "A good example of this is one variety gave 0.7t DM/acre yield benefit, but after taking starch and energy into account it produced £150 less in terms of estimated feed value an acre," he warns.

After picking a variety, crop management is also important, he adds. "A well managed crop is capable of yielding more than 8t DM/acre in better mainstream areas and 6t DM/acre in more marginal conditions."

See more