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For the best results, plant DEKALB maize

Farmers flocked to Bayer’s stand at the Agritech Expo in Zambia to admire DEKALB cultivars. What they could see, was the result of months of careful planning and preparation. They planted demonstration plots of their three key hybrids in time to be ready for show-off during the big event.

Most Zambian farmers produce on dryland, therefore most of the cultivars offered are intended for dryland production.

DEKALB varieties are high yielding, drought tolerant, and resist diseases such as leaf rust, maize streak virus (MSV), grey leaf spot (GLS), and diplodia. DEKALB hybrids respond to good management and yields can be enhanced by adopting good agronomic practices.

The Bayer team members focussed on 3 key hybrids, with special Zambian names to remember them by:

DKC90-89 – “In Zambia, this cultivar is called a Ngao-ngao, meaning the real or original one. It attains the best yields as a medium maturity hybrid with double cobbing, medium height, and very good grain quality,” says Rafael Mutale, agronomist for Bayer in Zambia.

“It is planted at a stand of 55 000 to 60 000 per hectare and takes 110 to 130 days to maturity,” he added. The yield potential is 40 to 44 bags/acre (8 to 10 t/Ha) and it has good disease tolerance against GLS, rust and MSV.

DKC80-33 is called Tamanga. “It means run, because it is a fast grower that takes only 100 to 150 days to maturity,” says Rafael.

“You can also use it for green mealies and it has the potential to carry two cobs on each plant.”This variety has a good standability and stability, it is a reliable yielder even under poor growing conditions, shows good tolerance to drought, leaf diseases and cob rot, and yields semi-dent type and hard grains. Potential yield is 34 to 36 bags/acre (7 to 9 t/Ha).

DKC777 variety was launched at last year’s Agritech Expo. “We call this cultivar Shoma, which means trust. You can rely 100% on this product, especially during dry spells,” says Rafael.

“It is a stable, medium maturity hybrid with double cobbing, excellent grain quality, yield stability and heavy grain. It has good poundability and excellent standing ability.”

The best of all: This product has excellent disease resistance (GLS, blight, rust and cob-rot as well as maize lethal necrosis (MLN).

“We are marketing this one in Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, and Nigeria,” Rafael added.

Farmers in Zambia enjoy the best benefits of Bayer’s international research and development of seed suited to the customer’s needs. When a farmer adds good management to the mix, he will stand in awe with the success of his harvest. Vast resources are spent to drive the development and full understanding of all the hybrids. Developing a new seed cultivar for the market can take more than a decade before it is released. First there is all the research and then the government needs to approve it. Feedback from farmers are welcomed!

Rafael Mutale, agronomist for Bayer, shows DKC90-89 maize at the recent Agritech Expo.

Visit your closest Bayer outlet or visit for the best maize for your farm.

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