The inability of livestock keepers to feed their animals adequately throughout the year remains the major technical constraint in most livestock systems, particularly in smallholder systems in emerging countries.
Meeting the demand for meat and milk in a way that poor livestock keepers benefit more from their animal assets will require sustainable production of more and higher quality feed.
The September 2013 special issue of Field Crops Research (edited by Elaine Grings, Olaf Erenstein and Michael Blümmel) primarily deals with dual-purpose maize and the intention to improve whole plant utilization – i.e. the use of both maize grain and crop residues (stover). It primarily focuses on three broad thematic areas:
- demand for dual-purpose maize cultivars and associated targeting domains;
- quality traits, whole plant utilization and phenotyping; and
- exploiting trait variation for maize improvement.
These themes variously touch upon dual-purpose maize in relation to use by farmers, germplasm development, management/feeding improvement and feed quality analysis. The main focus is on mixed crop – livestock systems in emerging countries – particularly Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia.
ILRI authored papers in the issue include:
- Blümmel, M., Grings, E. and Erenstein, O. 2013. Potential for dual-purpose maize varieties to meet changing maize demands: Synthesis.
- Erenstein, O., Blümmel, M. and Grings, E. 2013. Potential for dual-purpose maize varieties to meet changing maize demands: Overview.
- Homann Kee-Tui, S., Blümmel, M., Valbuena, D., Chirima, A., Masikati, P., Rooyen, A.F. van, and Kassie, G.T. 2013. Assessing the potential of dual-purpose maize in southern Africa: A multi-level approach.
- Anandan, S., Khan, A.A., Ravi, D., Sai Butcha Rao, M., Reddy, Y.R. and Blümmel, M. 2013. Identification of a superior dual purpose maize hybrid among widely grown hybrids in South Asia and value addition to its stover through feed supplementation and feed processing.
- Ravi, D., Khan, A.A., Sai Butcha Rao, M. and Blümmel, M. 2013. A note on suitable laboratory stover quality traits for multidimensional maize improvement.
- Ramana Reddy, Y., Ravi, D., Ramakrishna Reddy, C., Prasad, K.V.S.V., Zaidi, P.H., Vinayan, M.T. and Blümmel, M. 2013. A note on the correlations between maize grain and maize stover quantitative and qualitative traits and the implications for whole maize plant optimization.
- Lukuyu, B.A., Murdoch, A.J., Romney, D., Mwangi, D.M., Njuguna, J.G.M., McLeod, A. and Jama, A.N. 2013. Integrated maize management options to improve forage yield and quality on smallholder farms in Kenya.
- Ertiro, B.T., Twumasi-Afriyie, S., Blummel, M., Friesen, D., Negera, D., Worku, M., Abakemal, D. and Kitenge, K. 2013. Genetic variability of maize stover quality and the potential for genetic improvement of fodder value.
- Ertiro, B.T., Zeleke, H., Friesen, D., Blümmel, M. and Twumasi-Afriyie, S. 2013. Relationship between the performance of parental inbred lines and hybrids for food-feed traits in maize (Zea mays L.) in Ethiopia.
- Zaidi, P.H., Vinayan, M.T. and Blümmel, M. 2012. Genetic variability of tropical maize stover quality and the potential for genetic improvement of food-feed value in India.
- Vinayan, M.T., Babu, R., Jyothsna, T., Zaidi, P.H. and Blümmel, M. 2013. A note on potential candidate genomic regions with implications for maize stover fodder quality.