The poor season of 2012 has raised many issues about growing maize in future years. The continued dismal wet weather was not helpful in growing big yields of good quality maize. However, some crops were grown successfully and we must look at why that was. Although growers were caught out by the extreme conditions, some growers took steps to ensure they still had a productive crop. Firstly and most importantly for last year, they selected a well-drained, south facing field. Then they ensured that the field was free from compaction and was well fertilized. Finally they selected a variety with good early vigour to grow away quickly and keep weeds under control.

Variety choice on a particular site is determined by evaluating how best to achieve both high yields and reliable quality for good animal performance. Achieving a good yield at the target quality of 30% dry matter and 30% starch is the aim.

Our seed is sourced from Limagrain who are now developing varieties with higher digestibility and, therefore, better animal performance. Any qualifying variety is stamped with the LG Animal Nutrition or LGAN logo. This award is only given to varieties with excellent all-round crop performance and which deliver silage of superior nutritional value.

Activate class 12 – very early variety (LGAN variety)
Grown in Yorkshire since 2011, we can confirm this exceptional earliness. For an early maturing variety it can achieve good dry matter and starch levels. It is now on the NIAB Recommended list where it is the top variety for starch yield in the Less Favoured Area data. It appears to dry down quickly at harvest giving a very nutritious feed. This variety will be suitable for marginal maize growing areas and is particularly suited to late sowing on good land (such as after an early first cut silage).
Again we have seen this variety grown locally since 2011. It has exceptional early vigour and gives a very big crop. It is very reliable with good yields even in the difficult 2012 season. It is on the NIAB Recommended list as the highest yielding early variety and tops the metabolizable energy (ME) and Cell Wall digestibility chart in the Less Favoured Area data.

It is by far the best variety for early vigour. Local crop reports back up the NIAB data, showing it combines a very high yield with good long cobs and early maturity. It matures at a similar time to Destiny and would probably out-yield it on better land. We expect this variety to become a big seller.

Artist class 10 – excellent for good soil
Again, a high yielding variety with a good maturity. Suitable to grow on good land where an early harvest is required. Good starch and ME values can be obtained.

Crescendo – Mr Consistency
In the UK, there is still a large amount of this variety sown each year because of the consistent yields. Grown since the 1990’s it achieves good yields and maturity every year and is very reliable. The cost of the seed is also in its favour.

Destiny – best selling
Destiny is a high yielding class 9 variety with good early vigour and has been widely grown since its introduction in 2003.
It has been proven to be very reliable in many situations throughout Yorkshire and Durham. It is quick to ripen and provides a good consistent yield over several years.

Yukon – tall high yielding
A Class 10 variety giving very high yields with superb starch yields. It has a good early dry down with good standing ability making it suitable for crimping (if the season is better!!).
For more information contact David Lewis on 07710 600848 or office 01765 689666.

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