Comparison of Normal and Opaque-2 Maize Genotypes Used for Corn Cob Mix in Pig Feeding
- Lajos Pintér ,
- Zoltán Burucs and
- Zoltán Alföldi
Opaque-2 (o2) maize (Zea mays L.) contributed significantly to the quality improvement of maize breeding in the 1960s, but did not become popular because of a lower yield, a result of its shorter grain-filling period. This characteristic, however, could prove to be advantageous for use in corn cob mix (CCM), which is popular in the cold-wet regions of Europe. A research program including a 3-yr field trial, an in vivo pig (Sus scrofa) study with fermented CCM, and a farm-scale fattening test was conducted to evaluate the prospect of o2 for CCM production and utilization. Opaque-2 yielded as much CCM at the CCM ripening stage (600 g kg−1 grain DM) as did the normal version. Due to its shorter grain-filling period, 02 can accumulate more assimilates at a higher grain moisture contenthan the normal maize. Results from in vivo pig trials showed that 02 was superior in N retention and in the biological value of protein compared with the normal genotype. Consequently, using o2 can balance the feed value and reduce the soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] content in the ration for fattening pigs by 27%. The quality of the meat of slaughtered pigs fed with o2 and less soybean was comparable to that of pigs fed with normal maize and larger supplement of soybean protein. Improved o2 genotypes may be an alternative source of CCM production in countries where the climate is not very favorable for soybean production and where alternative protein supplements are not readily available.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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