Crop focus: Corson Maize Z71-F1 variety

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Maize grower Adam Whipp has been using Corson Maize Z71-F1 Maize grower Adam Whipp has been using Corson Maize Z71-F1 Maize grower Adam Whipp has been using Corson Maize Z71-F1

PGG Wrightson Seeds has added the Z71-F1 to its Corson Maize Seed silage range, saying it brings a wider harvest window, greater yield and higher profit in situations where a full season hybrid is appropriate.


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One farmer who has been trialling the new product is Northern Victorian maize grower Adam Whipp, who says yields were around 25 tonne/ha, which was a 5 tonne/ha increase from the traditional maize varieties he used on his farm.

"Corson Maize Z71-F1 interested me because it promised above average early-growth, a tall and bulky plant with large cobs, as well as superior stay green attributes, and it delivered," Whipp says. "That extra five tonnes a hectare makes a big difference in terms of profit."

Located in the heart of dairy country, west of Shepparton, at Nanneella, Adam Whipp runs a 100ha property where maize is a big part of his annual crop rotation.

"Generally, I’ll grow shaftal clover for the winter from April to November, then I’ll sow maize at the end of November," Whipp says.

However, increasing water costs and reduced allocations left him searching for a higher-yielding maize silage.

Working with his local agronomist, Whipp initially sowed Corson Maize Z71-F1 as a trial, but says it will now become a permanent part of his crop rotation system.

"The Corson Maize Z71-F1 grew a metre taller than the other variety of maize I normally grow and has 11-12 leaves on the plant above the corn cob, compared to the standard variety which has about six leaves above the corn cob," he says.

"It also has a stay-green gene in it and it does stay greener, so when you go to chop it, it doesn’t dry off like the other varieties.  The other varieties go brown very quick but this one hung on pretty well."

In preparation for planting, Whipp first cut the shaftal hay, then ran over the area with a disc plough, before pre-irrigating, adding a broadcast-based fertiliser and incorporating it with a grader board.

Five days later, he planted the Corson Maize Z71-F1 at 85,000 seeds/ha to a depth of 2.5 inches (6.4cm), and also added 50 litres/ha of liquid starter fertiliser.

For this crop Whipp used around seven megalitres/ha of water through the growing period and deployed 300 litres/ha of liquid fertiliser that he applied with a water applicator so that it "dribbled into the irrigation channel and gave the soil a nitrogen boost".

 Feed testing on the Corson Maize Z71-F1 showed good nutrition results, especially the starch levels, Whipp says, and these results were supported by local dairy farmers who received his harvested crop.

PGG Wrightson Seeds product development manager Kelly Burke says Corson Maize Z71-F1 has a high grain content and above-average whole-plant digestibility and is suitable for warmer regions where early planting is possible.

"It is ideally suited to contract silage production, targeting high yields and quality silage," he says.  "Dairy farmers, in particular, can take advantage of its performance by planting early at run-off."

 

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