Maize seeds

Expensive adverts are placed in the trade press to entice livestock farmers into choosing the right variety. If you believe everything you read, it becomes more and more difficult to make a decision.


Criteria for buying maize

The criteria for making a decision are very wide-ranging:

  • Plenty of biomass if you need a lot of forage
  • High starch if little silage maize is used
  • High cell wall digestibility for rations with a high maize content
  • Earliness is also important to many farmers for good ripening
  • Mixtures of varieties or a single variety
  • Disease resistance, standing power and resistance to green snap
  • Choice of a tried and tested variety or a newcomer
  • Accountability of supplier and breeder
  • Price per bag

Adverts do not provide clarity about all these aspects and advice from a trusted specialist supplier is essential.

Key points to consider when selecting a maize variety

Nutritionists are often trusted but are not always specialists. Experts from companies which can choose freely from a range of breeders can often provide the most neutral advice and can also justify it. The price per bag may be higher, but a poor crop will cost even more because other factors are even more important than the choice of variety:

  • No flooding in the field during the winter period
  • The catch crop must be right but must be destroyed before 1 April
  • Slurry must be applied two weeks before sowing
  • Create a seedbed with 6 cm loose soil and a firm subsoil
  • Sowing too early brings a risk but produces good starch contents
  • Use a spring-tine harrow within 3 days of sowing to control weeds
  • Use two passes for troublesome weeds and limit spray damage
  • Plan the forage harvester with the contractor one week before harvesting
  • A good silage additive is worthwhile even with successful silage
  • Compact the silage well within a few hours of harvesting and seal with 2 layers of plastic film
  • Sow the green manure within 3 days of harvesting

If you would like more information, please contact us.