Decision support tool for silage maize cultivation in Sweden

Last changed: 10 January 2022
Logotype for EU and the rural programme. Illustration.

The aim of this project is to form a group to further work on the development of a project proposal for EIP agri. The innovation linked to this project will focus on the development of a decision support system for silage maize that would make this crop more cost efficient and sustainable.

Due to its high biomass production and nutritional qualities as animal feed, silage maize is a valuable forage for milk production. However, the high turnover of new varieties and the climate variability make it a risky crop even under good growing conditions in Sweden, with important losses occurring due to misestimating the optimal sowing and harvest dates. Statistics from Växa 2017 of farmers' samples of fresh harvested silage maize shows that 10% had a dry matter content above 40.8%, which is far above the recommended level of 32-34%. Such high levels can severely affect the fermentation process of the silage. The use of a modern digital Decision Support System (DSS) would provide suggestions of choice of variety and estimations of the optimal sowing and harvest dates by taking into account climate data and cultivar specificities. The DSS would help to reduce the risk in cultivation and make maize production more cost efficient and sustainable.

This project involves people from SLU, Lantmännen, Dataväxt and Växa Sverige.