Press Release •  07/08/2023

Record UK maize crop needs protecting to deliver full potential

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This year’s maize crop is looking good, with big yields forecast, so it’s time to plan how to capitalise on this and protect its quality at harvest.

“Using the right additive when harvesting maize is critical to its success in the clamp but once it’s done, it’s sorted for the whole winter,” said Andy Stainthorpe, Seed & Silage Inoculants Sales Manager, UK & Ireland.

“With a record acreage of maize sown in the UK this year, the potential gains from producing and preserving this high-quality homegrown feed for the winter ahead are greater than ever.

“The 2023 national maize crop is estimated to be around 250,000 hectares, up 20,000 from last year. Figures from our PACTS trials over the last 20 years show an average fresh weight yield of around 48 tonnes/hectare.

“So, at last year’s trading price of £60/tonne, this makes the potential value of this year’s 12 million tonne crop more than £725 million.

“We also know from our trials the most valuable starch or grain component averages a little under 8 tonnes/hectare (at 15% moisture), with a corresponding value of £487 million.

These are eye-watering figures and underline just how important it is to ensure as much of the high-quality nutrition afforded by maize is retained right up until it reaches the feed barrier.

“Choosing the right silage inoculant to do this depends on how your maize is going to be used,” explained Andy. “Silage for high-performing dairy cows needs to be protected from aerobic spoilage and have good digestibility. The inoculant 11C33 RR offers both these benefits.

“And with sowing in many areas later this year, harvest is also likely to be later, and there is an increased risk of spoilage organisms infesting the standing crop.”

11C33 RR suppresses the activity of these harmful organisms – and quickly.

In combination with Pioneer’s main strain of Lactobacillus buchneri, 11C33 contains a fast-acting strain able to effect improved aerobic stability within seven days of ensiling. This gives growers a product able to suppress growth of harmful yeasts and moulds quickly and effectively.

In addition, two powerful lactic acid-producing strains of Lactobacillus plantarum in 11C33 RR ensure fast acid fermentation and a rapid drop in pH within a few hours of silage going into the clamp.

This efficient production of lactic acid reduces dry matter losses associated with early acid fermentation and leaves more of the valuable crop carbohydrates in the silage.  

“Because 11C33 RR is fast-acting, treated silage is available for use just a week or two after going in the clamp,” said Andy. “This speed of action is particularly important as we are likely to see clamps being opened for feeding out sooner after harvest than usual due to existing silage stocks being low.

“Investing in protecting your maize silage this year makes good business sense. One small step taken at harvest is one giant leap for your silage quality all winter long.”

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Corteva, Inc. is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximising productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognised brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfils its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019 and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at

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Fiona Carruthers
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