Evaluation of commercial corn hybrids for silage use in the South Region of Brazil

Low temperatures and frosts that occur in the South Region of Brazil during the cool season determine a decrease in quality and amount of forage in pastures. To supply the animal nutrition requirements at this time, corn silage has been widely used. Differences among corn genotypes, regarding dry matter production and forage quality, have been found. The objective of this paper was to identify the commercial corn hybrids potential for silage production in the South Region of Brazil. Twenty-one hybrids were compared at seven dairy areas (Cascavel, Chapecó, Ijuí, Ponta Grossa, Teutônia and Urussanga), using a completely randomized block design with three replications. Dry matter production and an estimate based on bromatological analysis of the potential milk production were evaluated. There were significant differences among hybrids for the evaluated traits. Hybrids averages varied from 11.,27 to 14.83t ha-1 for dry matter production and from 4868 to 7207kg ha-1 for milk production. The effects of sites and hybrid by site interaction were important for the determination of both traits. Sites’ average for dry matter production varied from 8.69 to 19.22t ha-1, and for milk production from 3845 to 8515kg ha-1, with Cascavel showing the highest values. There is variability among cultivars indicated for the South Region of Brazil considering the potential to be used as silage. However, because the hybrids ranking is strongly affected by genotype x environment interaction, cultivars must be recommended for specific areas.

Zea mays; animal feeding; dry matter; milk

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