For northern regions

In the new 2014 season, EkoNiva-Semena is presenting its new products, maize hybrids from the DuPont Pioneer, along with new linear varieties and hybrids of spring rape from Bayer CropScience. 

By Willy Drews, Doctor of Agronomy, adviser to EkoNivaTekhnika-Holding

Pioneer is an acknowledged leader in maize selection. This year EkoNiva concluded a dealer agreement for growing maize on its fields and sale of seeds.

Super-early hybrids of dent maize are quite interesting. They feature high crop capacity and excellent water loss. They can be successfully grown in the northern regions of Russia, where large numbers of horned cattle are raised, while maize varieties with a short vegetation period are not yet produced on a large scale.

High quality silage for milk production and fattening horned cattle must meet the following requirements:
- Dry matter content (depending on the cob content) from 30 to 37%;
- Metabolic energy (ME) content > 11.0 MJ/kg of dry matter;
- Net energy lactation (NEL) content > 6.6 MJ/kg of dry matter;
- Starch content >30 % in dry matter.

In order to obtain high quality silage from maize, the cob share in the total harvested mass must be 50 to 55%. The main value of the fodder is in its cobs.

The right selection of maize and agro-engineering can substantially increase the energy value of silage by increasing the share of high quality cobs in the fodder. Based on biological requirements applied by the variety to the sum of effective temperatures, maize hybrids must be selected which can mature by the time of silage harvesting in the given region. The readiness for maize ensilage comes with cessation of substantial increment of feed value and end of starch build-up in the cob. The maturing of the cob is determined based on the grain condition after breakage of several cobs in the middle. When the grains are in the stage of paste-like maturity, the optimum harvesting time comes. During this period the dry matter content in the maize grain is 55 to 60%. In the remaining part of the plant, it varies between 23 and 25%.

In the total mass (cob + plant), the share of dry matter must be 30 to 35%. In the dry matter of such fodder, the starch content will be not less than 30%, exceeding 35% in some hybrids.

The cutting height in maize harvesting substantially influences the energy and nutrient elements content in silage. High cut (up to 40 cm) reduces the productivity of the total silage mass by 10% on 1 hectare, but increases the nutrient value by increasing the share of cobs and starch, whereas the energy for producing milk (net energy lactation, NEL) in 1 kg of dry matter grows by 0.2 megajoule.

For the northern regions of Russia, the ultra-early group of hybrids of maize, such as P7535 with FAO 150 and P7709 with FAO 160 are very interesting. These hybrids with a dentate type of grain quickly lose water and combine very well high productivity with the earliest possible harvesting.

The early maturing hybrids PR39B29 and PR39Kh32 with FAO, respectively, 170 and 180 have a siliceous-dentate type of grain, high starch content, and rapid moisture loss during after-ripening. The hybrid PR39A50 with FAO 200 belongs to the early maturing group and is distinguished by a high potential for productivity and adaptability for early sowing.

Since this season, EkoNiva-Semena supplies the Russian market with rape seeds from Bayer CropScience. Along with well known linear varieties of the spring rape Geros, Larisa, and Hunter, the season 2014 will get the earliest maturing variety Highlight along with hybrids Delight and Belinda for northern regions of Russia. The vegetation period of Highlight is around 90 days, which enables it to mature even in the Yaroslavl, Kostroma and Kirov oblasts. A new hybrid, Mirko, was offered; it is grown by the Clearfield method. This belongs to the group of early maturing varieties, enabling it to be grown on the weediest of fields in the northern regions. The use of the herbicide Nopasaran, clears the fields of weeds, making them well suited for sowing grain crops.

The early maturing varieties and hybrids of spring rape suffer less from droughts, assure higher yields and are highly profitable. Processed rape yields, in addition to oil, rape meal. This is a valuable source of high quality fodder protein, well balanced in terms of amino-acid content, highly nutritious and easily digestible. Introduction of rape meal into the animal feed is one of the key factors for intensive stockbreeding, especially poultry, swine raising and horned cattle production.

Furthermore, rape is a fine predecessor in crop rotation.