A new maize hybrid which combines high yields with excellent standing power and harvest flexibility has been launched for 2022 by maize plant breeder, KWS.

Suitable for forage, CCM or biogas, Debalto carries an FAO (maturity rating) of 170, which places it in the early category, with yields in excess of 19t/ha dry matter (DM), starch at 33.2% and an ME of 11.54 MJ/Kg.

KWS maize development manager, John Burgess, said:

“Extremes of weather appear to have become the norm for the UK and therefore we have increased our focus on standing power and cutting date flexibility.

One of the features we look for in order to achieve these aims is low ear insertion height, which puts the weight of the cob lower down on the stem compared with standard varieties. This gives the plant greater stability.

“Another factor which enhances stability is the combination of early kernel ripening and a relatively stay-green stover.

"A maize variety which does not have these two traits will dry down fairly rapidly.

"This offers a relatively narrow window of opportunity for harvesting, as the stem will wilt within a short period after ripening.

"Rapid dry-down can have a weakening effect and there is also a risk that dry matter levels will rise above the optimum.

“By contrast, varieties like Debalto contain genetics which produce to a slow rate of dry-down; usually over four to five days.

"This can be really useful if bad weather prevents travel, or in the case of a machinery breakdown.

Debalto is an exciting find. It is only once every couple of years that all of these desirable traits come together in a variety which also offers good production figures.

"Debalto will be available for the 2022 maize-growing season and we are also expecting it to make the Descriptive List for next year.”