2014-03-12   facebook twitter rss

Recommended List for Maize-Under-Plastic in Marginal Areas of UK

The results of the 2013 maize-under-plastic trial and variety recommendations for 2014 have been published by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in Southern Ireland.

This independent Recommended List provides a useful guide to variety selection for UK farmers in marginal areas who prefer to sow maize under cover, say Limagrain’s Tim Richmond.

maize growing under plastic

maize growing under plastic

Mr Richmond explains: “There is no official recommended list in the UK for varieties grown under plastic. However, the maize-growing conditions in Ireland are similar to those found in marginal areas in the UK.”

There are just three varieties in the DAFM 2014 Recommended List for maize grown under plastic. Recommendation can only be made once varieties have been trialled for at least three years. The data in table 1 is calculated from the averages of trials conducted at several locations in Southern Ireland from 2011 to 2013.

Mr Richmond comments: “The earliest maturing recommended variety is Award – as shown by its higher dry matter content at harvest. Award also has the highest starch content and ME content. Thanks to its high starch content and good DM yield, it yielded 4.77t/ha of starch, 0.5t/ha more than later maturing Justina.”

DAFM 2014 Recommended List: Maize varieties grown under plastic


DM yield t/ha

DM content %

Starch content %

Starch yield t/ha

Metabolisable Energy content MJ/kg DM



















Limagrain’s variety Ambition was entered into the DAFM trials system for the first time in 2013. It was the earliest maturing of the 18 varieties submitted for testing that year.

Mr Richmond adds: “In the 2013 trials, Ambition’s early maturity and its genetics combined to give it the highest yield for starch – 13.5% above the controls. Ambition also has very good cell wall digestibility, and together with the high starch content, it was the most energy-dense variety with an ME content of 11.65 MJ/kg of DM.

“In marginal areas, where the amount of land for growing maize is often limited, and consequently maize silage is less than 50% of the forage component, then starch content and yield are key selection factors for growers. Ambition and Award are good choices,” adds Mr Richmond.


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