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UAS, Bengaluru Develop New Maize Hybrid that Stays Green

Staying green is the speciality of these new hybrids. The cobs would have dried by the time it was time to harvest, but the entire plant would still be lush green.

Shivam Dwivedi
Staying green is the speciality of these new maize hybrids
Staying green is the speciality of these new maize hybrids

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, has developed two new corn hybrids that stay green on the fields during the time of harvest, thereby enhancing their value as a forage. The new hybrids MAH 14-138 and MAH 15-84, developed from existing parent lines, are high yielding and stay lush green on the fields till the harvest, said HC Lohitashwa, a corn breeder.

MAH 14-138, which has been developed over eight years and been approved for commercial release this year, is moderately resistant to turcicum leaf blight.

MAH 15-84, which is in the pipeline and likely to be approved for release next year, is resistant to turcicum leaf blight, fusarium stalk rot and polysora rust. These hybrids are suitable for both irrigated and dryland farming.

MAH 15-84, which has a crop cycle of 115-120 days, yields about 40-42 quintals per acre. The MAH 14-138 yields about 35-38 quintals per acre and has crop duration of 120-135 days.

“At the time of harvest, the cobs would have dried up, but the whole plant will remain lush green, which can be used as forage. Staying green is the speciality of these new hybrids. This is unlike other varieties, which normally dry up by the time of harvest,” he said.

Normally the dried corn stalks are used as fodder. In the new hybrids, since the plants remain green after harvest, cattle find it easy to digest and relish it like paddy straw or ragi straw, he said.

Maize acreage is on the rise in India with farmers bringing more area under cultivation. Over the past two decades, area under maize cultivation has risen from about 6 million ha to about 10 million ha, while production has increased from around 20 million tonnes (mt) to 32 mt.

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