Friday, October 19, 2018

New varieties added to 2019 forage maize lists

October 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Crops

Eight new varieties have been added to the Forage Maize Descriptive List by the British Society of Plant Breeder’s 2019 Forage Maize Descriptive Lists – seven first-choice varieties alongside one new second-choice.

Varieties added to the list for favourable sites include Cito KWS and Avitus KWS from KWS; LG31218 and Pinnacle from Limagrain; Cranberri CS from Caussade Semences; Expedia from AIC and Madonias from MAS.

The varieties Cito KWS, Avitus KWS, Madonias and Pinnacle were also added as first choice varieties to the list for less favourable sites, which is aimed at farmers with “marginal” conditions for growing forage maize.

A range of varieties on the lists enable growers to select those best suited to their needs. Parameters include dry matter yield, starch and digestibility in relation to favourable or less favourable growing conditions within the suitable maturity range for farm location.

First choice varieties

Cito KWS is the earliest maturing of the new first choice DL additions, with a 37.4% dry matter content at harvest and both the highest metabolisable energy (ME) and highest starch on the list at 11.82 MJ/kg DM and 37.6% respectively.

The new varieties have a range maturity, offering growers an increased choice, explains NIAB forage crop specialist Ellie Sweetman. Cranberri CS is the latest maturing at 29.5%, while achieving a dry matter yield of 18.3 t/ha and good cell wall digestibility at 58.5%.

Top of the list for dry matter yield is LG31218 – a later maturing variety for favourable sites. It  combines excellent yield potential (18.7 t DM/ha) with a highly digestible cell wall score of 59.6%.

Meanwhile, Avitus KWS is a good all-rounder with excellent yields (18.5 t DM/ha) for its maturity (35.5% DM), producing good ME at harvest (11.63 MJ/kg DM) with very good standing power scores, adds Ms Sweetman.

“Pinnacle provides a very good ME and starch content for its high dry matter, with a good eyespot rating. Expedia has very good standing power, whilst providing good yields with good ME and starch levels. Madonias is good all-rounder, providing good ME and starch for mid-range maturity.”

A high ME variety is more digestible than those with lower scores, with consequently faster rumen throughput, allowing for increased voluntary feed intake and improved feed conversion.

“Higher cell wall digestibility can help support butterfat levels in dairy cows, whereas higher starch can reduce requirements for concentrate feeds, a more cost effective option for many beef producers,” says Ms Sweetman.

Four varieties – Cito, Avitus, Madonias and Pinnacle – were added to the first-choice Less Favourable Descriptive List. With the new varieties showing a good range in maturity scores, Ms Sweetman believes growers have good flexibility in their variety selection process.

“Growers are looking for highly digestible, good quality silage plus early vigour – often an undervalued character in more challenging conditions where the ability of a variety to demonstrate vigorous early growth is particularly important.”

The new varieties are good all-rounders with yield potentials of between 16.1 and 18.4 t DM/ha, combined with good starch and reasonable ME yields.

“Pinnacle shows a very good eyespot resistance profile compared to other varieties on the less-favourable List, a valuable asset in susceptible areas during normal growing conditions.”

The BSPB 2019 Forage Maize Descriptive Lists is available to download from the BSPB and NIAB websites at www.bspb.co.uk and www.niab.com.

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