Split approach to maize cropping

Flint and dent varieties of maize have different growth and fermentation characteristics in the clamp and can be used in tandem to meet early- and later- season feed requirements.

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If possible, producers should allocate two thirds of maize hectares to flint and, one third to dent, with P7034 from Pioneer being a good dent variety.

Dent varieties have a softer grain shell, so they will accelerate available starch more quickly in the clamp and still provide good energy levels. These varieties should be harvested last and fed out first. Flint varieties have a harder grain shell, which takes longer to break down and for starch levels to become more rumen available. So, they should be harvested first and fed later.

Taking this approach will provide growing crops with adequate time to mature and optimum time to ferment in the clamp. It also means that producers will, if required, have good-quality maize silage ready to feed out early in the season.

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