EVOLUTION OF QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF FORAGE MAIZE DURING THE LAST 20 YEARS IN BELGIUM
The last 20 years the total dry matter yield and the total digestible organic dry matter yield of silage maize varieties increased on average by 1 % each year. The increase is mainly due to a higher stem and leaf content.
More early varieties were admitted in the last years. Such types reach the for harvesting optimal maturity stage sooner and in this way are less affected by bad climatological conditions in late autumn.
An early harvest can also be followed by sowing grass as a manure crop so that the soil is well covered during the winter.
The criteria for the evaluation in the official trials have contributed to the admission of varieties with better qualitative and quantitative characteristics.