Maize varieties suitable for the production of biogas


The aboveground parts, grain yield, dry matter and water content of the silage maize varieties Bermasil (early) and Mv MSC 485 (mid-season) and the grain maize varieties Mv To 286 (early) and NKPX 9283 (mid-season) were analysed to determine how these traits should be modified to develop a variety type more suitable for the production of bioenergy, more particularly biogas.

It was established that silage maize types are generally taller, with larger tassels, leaves, cobs and stalk mass below the ear, making them suitable for biogas production. It is important to note, however, that the grain yield of these varieties should not be ignored, as it makes up 40–50% of the total aboveground dry matter yield.

As one of the earliest maturing varieties, the silage maize variety Bermasil could be suitable in itself for biogas production. Based on the present and earlier data, it can be concluded that varieties with later maturity dates than those generally used for silage production could also be suitable for biogas production, provided they reliably reach the “half milk line” stage of maturity and a grain moisture content of around 42% every year in the given environment.


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Hadi, G. Maize varieties suitable for the production of biogas. CEREAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 37, 249–254 (2009).

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  • maize
  • grain moisture
  • drying
  • biogas