Potential for dual-purpose maize varieties to meet changing maize demands: Synthesis
Blummel, M.; Grings, E.;Erenstein, O.
Maize—or corn (Zea mays L.)—now is the most important global cereal in terms of production reflecting its versatility in use, including human food, animal feed and fodder, industrial products and biofuel. Most uses revolve around maize grain as the primary product, although whole plant utilization for silage is also common in industrialized agriculture (e.g. Klopfenstein et al., 2013). Despite being a versatile crop, maize production and maize breeding efforts over time have typically had a single-purpose orientation. For instance, maize breeding has focused on overcoming biotic and abiotic stresses so as to generate high yielding, stress-tolerant and widely-adapted maize varieties through judicious combination of conventional and molecular breeding approaches ( Muttoni et al., 2013 and Shiferaw et al., 2011). Even smallholders within mixed maize–livestock systems typically focus on maize grain yield (De Groote et al., 2013), with maize stover as additional byproduct and benefit. Although farmers may still try to increase fodder off-take, they still try to minimize maize grain yield loss ( Byerlee et al., 1989 and Lukuyu et al., 2013).