Biogas forage maize DL issued for 2015

The British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) has published the 2015 Forage Maize for Anaerobic Digestion Descriptive List, aimed at biogas producers growing and using the crop as a feedstock.

The Favourable List has 17 varieties, with six new listings including Hobbit, ES Kira and ES Remington from Grainseed, and Asgaard, Alfastar and LG30.223 from Limagrain. The Less Favourable List, aimed at sites with ‘marginal’ growing conditions, has grown by nine to 14 varieties this year.

The varieties on the 2015 List have been nominated by the plant breeders and are all suitable for biogas production. The List aims to aid variety selection as producers can check energy output in the form of metabolisable energy (ME) and other traits such as dry matter content and yield, early vigour and standing power.

BSPB Forage Maize Panel chairman Brendan Paul says: “The launch of the BSPB Forage Maize AD list last year proved a great success with biogas growers. For the first time it provided them with independent trials data to help with variety selection.

“The use of energy production as a driver for selection onto the List, rather than total yield, has proved controversial as most growers are still being paid on a £/tonne fresh weight basis and the quality aspects are being ignored. As more AD plants come on stream we anticipate that the benefits of dry matter % and digestibility will become apparent.”

The BSPB 2015 Forage Maize for Anaerobic Digestion Descriptive List is available to download from the BSPB and NIAB websites.

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