KWS Extends Energy Maize Hybrid Range as AD Acreage Expands

September 2012

KWS UK has extended its range of energy maize hybrids for 2013 as the pace quickens for Anaerobic Digestion (AD), particularly in the east of England.

Commenting on the rapid growth seen in 2012, John Burgess Maize Product Manager, states, “We have seen a strong expansion in acreage at over 4,000 ha of maize for AD. It is not unreasonable to suggest this may reach close to 10,000 ha in spring 2013”

“Growers have seen the benefits of growing purposely bred hybrids, which unlike forage maize for ruminants (dairy & beef cattle), offer far higher fresh yields, secure dry matter (27-31%), and ideally suit longer retention times of 60 - 100 days – the typical time period of fermentation for crop based AD”

KWS started its UK activities in 2010 with the introduction of FABREGAS, alongside later maturing hybrids like RONALDINIO. This has enabled growers, particularly in the Eastern Counties, to drill earlier and exploit the full growing season.

For 2013, these are joined by two new hybrids, aimed at offering greater cold tolerance, and higher yield potential.

The first new variety is BARROS (FAO 250), which offers yields of up to 60 t/ha, and greater stress tolerance.

The second hybrid CASSILAS (FAO 260) is an ideal choice for light soils, and where later harvesting is not a concern. CASSILAS will push the yield potential up to 70 t/ha, in so doing it could be an option for those growing maize on drought prone soils, or in areas of lower fertility.

Short season maize:

Interest is also growing in the use of maize following either grass or whole crop. Planted in June, a short season hybrid could achieve around 30 t/ha provided there is adequate seed bed moisture.

“This could be of interest to those with access to irrigation, where shorter season hybrids (FAO 150 – 170) could be used. From the KWS portfolio, we would recommend either SEVERUS or RAMIREZ – both are early enough for this purpose & have early vigour scores of above 8.0, enabling rapid establishment”.

Whilst this yield is clearly less than a full season crop, it is an option to reduce agronomic risk on lighter soils , and also spread workloads.

For more information please contact John Burgess on 01763 207309 / 07766 258264