Agronomic and nutritional characteristics of the corn hybrids for silage production

The objective of this work was to establish correlations between quantitative and qualitative variables and to evaluate their influence on the corn quality for ensilage production. Data from the Corn Hybrids for Silage Evaluation Program were used (IAC/APTA/ESALQ). Pearson correlations between the variables were calculated. The digestible dry matter (DM) production was affected not only by forage and grain productions, but also by the whole plant and stem digestibility. The digestible dry matter production presented the highest correlation coefficients with the total dry matter production (0.85) and with the grain production at ensiling (0.60) and maturity (0.68), production of fresh forage (0.47) and with the plant ears index (0.48). The correlation coefficients between the digestible DM production and the whole plant digestibility (0.44) and the stem fraction (0.38) were lower than those observed for the DM production. The whole plant digestibility depended mainly on the stem digestibility (0.60) and on parameters related to the grains. It may be concluded that when specific information on corn hybrids is not available, those with higher production of grains at maturity are selected due to their elevated correlation with DM production and digestible DM.

correlation; digestibility; dry matter; grains; protein; Zea mays

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