Fodder crops have to compete with those of field crops, and the majority of farmers are smallholders in the circumstances of Pakistan. Therefore, this study was planned to search for the best maize hybrid which would serve dual purposes, i.e. for grain production as well as its later usage as fodder and silage. So, seven maize hybrids most commonly grown in the vicinity were selected and compared for their forage production. Maize hybrids were sown on ridges followed by all cultural operations as carried out by farmers. At harvest, plant morphological parameters were measured before ensiling the whole maize plant. For ensiling, fodder was harvested and chopped into 3-4 cm long discs using a chaff cutter. The fodder was then transferred to plastic jars, pressed hard to remove air, sealed, and kept airtight for 40 days. Samples were taken after the ensiling period and subjected to different quantity and quality parameters. It was observed that Monsanto DK-6789 showed the best performance in agronomic; plant height at harvest, number of leaves per plant, dry weight per plant, fresh forage yield at harvest, and dry matter yield, and quality parameters; crude protein, fiber, and total ash percentage. DK-6789 also showed superiority in lactic acid, pH, dry matter, crude protein, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, hemicellulose, and cellulose. Therefore, this maize hybrid may be recommended for grain production in the irrigated areas, while its leftovers can be utilised as forage or ensiled for quality silage.

Article History

Received: Jan 25, 2022; Accepted: June 14, 2022; Published: Dec 17, 2022