ARC maize trials Part 2: eastern region

The ARC-Grain Crops Institute recently published its 2013/2014 National Maize Cultivar Trials results. Farmer’s Weekly presents the results for the best-yielding hybrids in South Africa’s eastern maize production region.

ARC maize trials  Part 2: eastern region
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The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) conducted multi-season trials (2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014) on maize hybrid cultivars in the eastern production region of the country. The results of the final growing season were recorded separately.

Single-season results
Fifty cultivars were tested on 23 different yield potential locations as part of the ARC’s multi-season cultivar trials in the eastern maize production region of South Africa. The yield for the 2013/2014 season varied from a low 5,91t/ ha in Devon to a high 13,67t/ ha in Winterton. The average yield for all trials was 9,17t/ ha. The best-yielding five hybrids were PAN6R- 680R, PAN6Q- 408CB, PAN4B- 311B, DKC78- 17B and BG5285. The most consistent hybrids were LS8524R, LS8539B, DKC78-45BRGEN, SC411 and DKC73-70BGEN.

The trials evaluated the adaptability of commercial genotypes to a wide range of yield potentials. The participating seed companies were Agricol, GGI, Klein Karoo, Link Seeds, Monsanto, Pannar, DuPont Pioneer, KZN and Seed Co. Grain yield was the only parameter statistically analysed, as yield potential and cultivar adaptability in specific localities are the most important criteria for measuring performance.

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Table 1 shows the mean grain yield of 50 maize cultivars tested in 23 localities. The yellow genotype PAN6R-680R produced the highest yellow maize yield at 10,42t/ ha, while PAN4B- 311B produced the highest white maize yield: 9,98t/ ha. The most stable yellow cultivar was LS8524R, followed by DKC73-70BGEN, and the most stable white cultivar was LS8539B, followed by DKC78-45BRGEN.

Multi-season results
Eighteen maize cultivars were included in the multi-season trials of 2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. Table 2 shows the mean grain yield of these cultivars tested in 69 localities. The highest mean yield recorded was at Bergville (15,94t/ ha) and the lowest was at Bethlehem (3,6t/ha). The yellow cultivar with the highest mean yield was DKC80- 40BRGEN (9,49t/ ha), while the white cultivar with the highest mean yield was PAN6Q- 445B (9,23t/ ha).

The growing conditions during the three seasons were taken into account to prevent incorrect comparisons. The seed companies that took part in the long-term trials were Agricol, Klein Karoo, Link Seeds, Monsanto, Pannar, DuPont Pioneer, DMS Genetics, Capstone, and Seed Co.

The ARC-Grain Crops Institute urges farmers not to base their cultivar recommendations only on these results. Due to seasonal variation, the results may be highly misleading. For example, they may discriminate unfairly against cultivars that could, in reality, be the best for certain areas.

Phone the ARC on 012 427 9700.