The selection of maize varieties for last year’s growing season turned out to be more important than normal for Mr Neagle and by selecting a dent variety was the best option for the growing season as well as the feeding requirements.
Our land is very light commented Mr Neagle so we need to grow a variety that is suitable for this soil type and does not suffer in dry conditions.
Working with our ForFarmers forage specialist and by selecting the Pioneer dent hybrid P7034 it coped better under the dry hot conditions compared to other varieties that we have used before as it was more tolerant.
The variety differed from other varieties that we have grown in the past in that it seemed to be slower in leaf development but this soon caught up and it was very apparent that it had greater root development in the early growing stages which was a major benefit later in the dry season.
Maize breeders today are exploiting the characteristics of flint and dent hybrids. Flint genetics have dominated the market due to its cooler conditions where lack of rainfall is less frequently a limiting factor and cold tolerance plays a more important role.
With flint type hybrids having lower starch availability, growers are encouraged to store silage for a few months before feeding.
The flint starch softens during ensiling and becomes more readily available within the rumen. However, when fed dent type hybrids cows produce less faecal starch as the starch in the crop is more readily available earlier.
“We fed the P7034 to the cows straight after harvest. The cows did not reduce in milk yield or quality”.
I was very impressed as normally when we feed newly harvested maize the cow’s the milk yield would drop back a bit and we would have to change the parlour feed to rebalance the diet.
Forecasting the expected date of maize harvest is extremely important to maximise crop value as well as planning rotations. Harvest date is mainly determined by the variety sown and the season.
Wherever it is grown, maize requires attention to detail. Field tests will determine the correct time to harvest, while consolidation and sealing at the clamp will produce a high quality feed.
Animals fed rations containing maize silage have a higher dry matter intake than those fed rations solely on grass silage.
The extra DMI leads to hig...