Plant breeder Limagrain UK – LG Seeds has launched a new free selection guide to help farmers identify the most suitable forage maize variety for their conditions, to increase the return on their investment in the crop.

The Maize Variety Selection Guide presents data on all the varieties on the 2020 BSPB/NIAB Descriptive Lists in an easy-to-understand chart format, allowing quick comparison between varieties. Tables give information on quality characteristics, including cell wall digestibility and starch content, so growers can choose varieties to maximise the total feeding quality of their maize silage. The Guide also includes vital agronomic information such as lodging, maturity and early vigour data.

“With maize costing around £800/ha to grow, it is vital that farmers maximise the return on this investment,” comments LG Seeds’ maize manager for the UK and Ireland Tim Richmond. “Whether you are in a favourable or less favourable area, there are basically three core objectives. The first is to grow a variety that will mature early to increase the prospects of getting it harvested in good time and allow a successor crop to be established. The second is to ensure to produce the best yield of high-quality feed, and finally you want feed available to include the diet as early as possible in the autumn. All these factors are driven by variety selection.”

Plant breeding developments have led to improvements in feed parameters including cell wall digestibility, he continues. These could bring big benefits for farmers who wish to grow some of the newer varieties on the BSPB/NIAB List. “The objective is to choose the varieties best suited to the farm situation which will maximise the nutrients available to feed stock next winter.

“Getting the choice right can have a major impact on the quality and quantity of forage produced, which will have a big impact on performance and margins.”

The guide is available free of charge from Limagrain on 01472 370117 or via the LG website.