Adaptation of evaluation criteria to changing agriculture practice in maize and their impact on variety registration


In the past 50 years, great progress has been made in improving plant yield, harvest security, disease resistance and crop quality. Although high fertilizer input, pesticide availability, better varieties and adapted crop husbandry have made this progress possible, intensive agriculture has important drawbacks. Growing crops such as silage and corn maize cause unwanted side effects in several European countries, such as N- and P- losses to ground water, loss of biodiversity, smaller rotations, higher disease pressure, lower soil fertility and worsened soil structure. In the future, breeders will have to ameliorate these negative effects while maintaining high productivity. The question arises, “Are the currently cultivated crops such as maize (in most cases, a restricted variety assortment) adapted for future agriculture, or do we need other crops or other types of varieties?” This presentation will address the different aspects of future variety testing for maize (silage and grain) and which parameters have to be judged in light of intensive ecological agriculture. In particular the paper describes i) the European regulation concerning variety testing ii) value for cultivation and use iii) current evaluation criteria for silage and grain yield in Belgium, and iv) introduction of new criteria such as to give a more precise evaluation of maize performance and approved in variety testing. The evaluation criteria should be balanced between parameters for yield, harvest security (resistance to lodging and stalk rot), disease resistance and quality. The choice of the standard varieties also greatly determines the level needed for admission.


maize, variety testing, agricultural practice, criteria

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Maydica - A journal devoted to maize and allied species

ISSN: 2279-8013