Maize is a plant of the grass family and is the most productive of the few crops. The species of this plant is the third largest cultivated area in the world. Currently, all maize varieties grown in Poland are hybrid varieties. In their breeding, the phenomenon of heterosis, otherwise known as "the lushness and vigor of hybrids", was used. So what kind of corn should you choose for your crops?
Maize has low soil requirements and can be grown in almost all types of soil:
Maize silage varieties are usually characterized by a fast initial growth. Additionally, thanks to the appropriate size of the cobs and the outstanding healthiness, they give high-quality crops in large quantities. The silage hybrid should be characterized by a high total yield of dry matter with a high proportion of cobs, high digestibility of vegetative parts of plants and an appropriate FAO suited to the harvest date.
The dry matter content of cobs and plants plays a key role in determining the earliness of silage hybrids. It is also of great importance in obtaining silage of the appropriate quality. The optimal dry matter content in whole plants intended for silage should be 30-35%.
Early varieties can easily exceed the upper limit of these values, while late varieties with high biomass and poorly developed cobs may not achieve even 30% dry weight. Due to the desired enteric starch, varieties with vitreous grains of flint type or those with intermediate grains of flint / dent type are recommended for silage.
Flint grains contain about 50% more starch than dent grains, therefore the varieties of flint grain maize are preferred for silage for cattle, as well as varieties with the so-called stay green with longer green leaves (the cob may be mature and the leaves are still green). The hard starch in the flint grain surrounds the soft starch, thus reducing the digestion of starch in the rumen and reducing the risk of acidosis.
The type of flint seeds is characterized by faster initial development, better resistance to cold and earlier flowering, therefore these varieties are suitable for earlier sowing and can be sown in less heated soil, which also extends the growing season. The features of flint type maize work well in cold and late spring conditions or in places with slower heating of the soil. However, the selection of silage maize varieties must be well balanced. The yield potential is higher for varieties with a later FAO, but if we take the risk of growing a variety too late for our region, we may fail. Productivity is related to the FAO early age of maize hybrids. Early varieties, due to their shorter growth and development, produce a lower yield, and selecting a variety of maize too early than recommended in the region will result in the loss of some of the yield that could potentially be obtained with the selection of a later variety. On the other hand, by choosing a variety that is too late, excessive grain moisture at harvest will delay the achievement of technological maturity for silage (or grain) harvest.
Grain maize varieties should be characterized not only by a high level of yielding, appropriate early age or resistance to pathogens, but also to drought and lodging. The features of the varieties that should be paid attention to are primarily those that ensure the yield. For grain maize plantations, varieties producing dent grain cobs are proposed. These varieties are characterized by a slower initial development, greater sensitivity to cold, as well as later flowering. At the same time, they are characterized by a higher yield potential when growing maize for dry grain.
Despite the fact that varieties with flint kernels mature and release water earlier than dent, the process is relatively slow, and as a result, at the time of harvest within the same age group, dent grain is usually 2-3% drier than flint. Yield accuracy and stability are also important, especially in years with unusual weather conditions. It must be remembered that the selection of a variety for grain is a key decision affecting the profitability of the entire production.
To sum up, the proper selection of maize variety for grain or silage is very important in harvesting a satisfactory yield. When growing later, you should also fertilize the corn. The combination of a good plant variety and regular care is the only way to get a good harvest.
If you are still not sure which maize variety to choose for your crops, please contact us - we will gladly dispel your doubts!