Cultivar choices are important to ensure a maximum yield. Given excellent research in genetics and technology, seed remains one of the most important inputs to increase yields and productivity in the grain industry. It is therefore extremely important that producers select the right cultivars, evaluate price and yield potential against each other as well as do risk diversification.

Correct cultivar selections are critical for a maize producer. New technology and traits are used in breeding maize cultivars to ensure optimal growth and yield in the different climatic regions in South Africa. GrainSA and SANSOR (The South African National Seed Organization) formed a consortium with the seed companies to ensure and independent evaluation of the trials. Maize breeding seed companies planted coded trials to ensure anonymity across all regions. Data was analysed by the Agricultural Research Council.

Maize planting season 2019/2020

In the water table region 40 cultivars were planted, in the western region 42 cultivars, in the temperate eastern region 53 cultivars, in the cold eastern region 51 cultivars, in the eastern Free State region 30 cultivars and 29 cultivars were planted in the KwaZulu-Natal region. 22 Cultivars, consisting of short and ultra-short seasonal growers, were planted under irrigation in both the Northern and eastern areas.

The following excel sheet includes the results of the cultivars that was entered into the maize cultivar trials for the 2019/2020 season. The maize cultivar trials compare the performance of new as well as existing cultivars in the South African market. It offers producers the choice of suitable cultivars, considering locality so as to maximize the potential of the crop, but also to minimize the impact of environmental conditions.

Download results of the Maize Cultivar Trials here