Monitoring the development of silage maturity of various maize hybrids in a foothill area – dry matter content with NIRS method support


  • Tomáš Mitrík DEWEX, s. r. o and FEED LAB, s. r. o
  • Andrej Mitrík FEED LAB, s. r. o.


maize, hybrids, maturity, FAO maturity groups, vegetation development, dry matter content


The aim of this work was to identify and quantify the relationships between the classification of maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids into FAO groups and the dry matter content in the dynamics of vegetation development in a foothill area. The work summarises the results of 9 experiments (140 hybrids, 20 FAO groups). Determining dry matter content was made by a combination of gravimetric determination and NIRS method. Dynamics of the development of dry matter content were evaluated at the level of vegetation days and calendar days. The assessment at the level of the calendar day has sufficient informative value and is more suitable for practical use. Climatic factors were expressed by the index of the relative condition of field crops (RKPP) and we monitored their influence on the dynamics of the development of dry matter content. We found statistically significant differences in the RKPP index between the harvest seasons in each area and at one of the three monitored localities. ± 1 unit of RKPP means a shift of ± 2.66 days of silage maturity. We defined the silage maturity in terms of reaching a dry matter content of 30%. In individual experiments, it was reached on average on the 273rd day, but in a wide range of 40 days. This range was 44 days at the level of individual hybrids and the level of FAO groups. The FAO230 group (the most numerous) range of silage maturity reached 28 days. We have compiled a proposal for a model for the evaluation of silage maize hybrids based on silage maturity. The results show that the use of FAO maturity groups does not provide a suitable basis for estimating silage maturity.


Bastiman, B. and Altman, J.F.B. (1985). Losses at various stages in silage making. Research and Development. Agriculture 2: 19-25.

Bíro D. et al. (2008). Fermentation process characteristics of different maize silage hybrids. Journal of Central European Agriculture Vol 9 (2008) No 3.

Crookston, R.K. and Kurle, J.E. (1988) Using the kernel milk line to determine when to harvest corn for silage. Journal of Production Agriculture 1:293-295.

Daynard, T.B. and Hunter, R.B. (1975). Relationships among whole-plant moisture, grain moisture, dry matter yield, and quality of whole plant corn silage. Can. J. Planr Sci. 55: 77-84 (Jan. 1975). Retrieved April 13, 2022, from

Di Marco, O.N. et al. (2002). Effect of maize crop maturity on silage chemical composition and digestibility (in vivo, in situ and in vitro). Animal Feed Science and Technology 99 (2002) 37–43.

Ferraretto, L.F. and Shaver, R.D. (2012). Meta-analysis: Effect of corn silage harvest practices on intake, digestion, and milk production by dairy cows. The Professional Animal Scientist 28 (2012):141–149.

Ferraretto, L.F. et al. (2018). Silage review: Recent advances and future technologies for whole-plant and fractionated corn silage harvesting. J. Dairy Sci. 101:3937–3951.

Horst et al. (2020). Effects of Hybrid and Grain Maturity Stage on the Ruminal Degradation and the Nutritive Value of Maize Forage for Silage. MDPI AGRICULTURE, Received: 5 June 2020.

Johnson, L.M. et al. (2003). Corn Silage Management: Effects of Hybrid, Maturity, Inoculation,and Mechanical Processing on Fermentation Characteristics. Journal of Dairy Science 86:287-308.

Jungenheimer, R.W. (1958). Hybrid maize breeding and seed production. FAO Agric. Dev. Pop. No 62. 99-103.

Juráček, M. et al., (2013). Nutritive value and fermentation characteristics of maize silages from different hybrids. Acta fytotechn. zootechn., 16, 2013(3): 61–64.

Kohn, K. et al. (2021). Wisconsin Corn Hybrid Performance Trials–2021(A3653). Retrieved March 17, 2021 from

Lauer, J. (1998). Corn Kernel Milk Stage And Silage Harvest Moisture. Retrieved March 17, 2021 from

Marton, L.C. et al. (2004). New method to determine FAO number of maize (Zea mays L.). Genetika, Vol. 36, No. 1, 83-92.

Rabelo, C.H.S. et al. (2015). Chemical composition, digestibility and aerobic stability of corn silages harvested at different maturity stages. Revista Caatinga, Mossoró, v. 28, n. 2, p. 107 – 116, abr. – jun., 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2022 from

Row, C.A., (2015). Corn Plant Maturity Effect on Yield and Nutritional Quality; Corn Silage Inoculation on Performance of Cattle Fed Silage with or without Live Yeast Added. Theses and Dissertations in Animal Science. 110.

Saylor, B.A. et al. (2021). Effect of Forage Processor Roll Gap Width and Storage Length on Fermentation Profile, Nutrient Composition, Kernel Processing Score, and Starch Disappearance of Whole-Plant Maize Silage Harvested at Three Different Maturities. Agriculture 2021, 11, 574.

Trnka, M. et al. (2020). Czech Drought Monitor System for monitoring and forecasting agricultural drought and drought impacts. International Journal of Climatology, 40, 5941-5958.

Turňa et al. (2021). Projekt INTERSUCHO.

Wiersma et al. (1993). Kernel Milkline Stage and Corn Forage Yield, Quality, and Dry Matter Content. Journal of Production Agriculture 6, January 1993:94-99. https://DOI: 10.2134/jpa1993.0094

Začalová M. and Mrázková M. (2018). Drought issues in the Czech Republic and the Intersucho web portal. Výzkum Chovu skotu 2018 Vol.60 No 2 pp 41-44 ref.8






Animal Science