Maize Department was established in 1962 as an integral part of the Institute for Agricultural Research in Novi Sad, aiming at gathering and classifying the existing maize germplasm, developing its own breeding program and introducing new hybrids into production. Today, Maize Department is one of the organizational units of Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops.
The main task of Maize Department is to develop new hybrids, organize and produce quality basic and commercial seed and develop technology for growing maize hybrids. The basic goal of maize breeding is development of high-yielding hybrids of different growing periods, from early hybrids (FAO maturity group 100) to late hybrids (FAO maturity group 800). Total of 218 maize hybrids have been developed in Maize Department so far, 80 of which have been released abroad serving as the best proof of NS maize breeding program’s value. NS maize hybrids have been released and are grown on considerable acreage in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Spain. Besided hybrids of standard quality, Maize Department also develops hybrids of specific quality: high-oil hybrids, popcorn hybrids, sillage hybrids, etc. Apart from these, herbicide-tolerant hybrids are also intensively being developed. Maize Department was the first in this region to develop the hybrid highly-tolerant to cycloxydime and herbicide Focus ultra which controls narrow-leaved weeds: sorghum, spike-tooth harrow, quick grass, foxtail millet, etc. Two such hybrids have been released so far - NS 444 Ultra and NS 640 Ultra.
Basic features of NS hybrids are high genetic yield potential (over 20 t dry kernel per hectare), good adaptability and stability of yields in all maize growing regions. Due to such features, NS maize hybrids are widely accepted in the production of Serbia (over 50% of maize sown area) as well as in the above mentioned countries where they have been released.
Records with NS maize hybrids
The best proof of NS maize hybrids’ high yield potential are numerous records achieved in production. Many NS hybrids yielded over 15 t dry kernel per hectare.
Above all is NS 6010 which yielded 18,640 kg dry kernel per hectare on the field of Mića Vujević from Amajlije, near Bijeljina. The same hybrid was the Serbian top record in 2008, yielding 18,325 kg dry kernel per hectare on the field of Stanko Živadinović from Končarevo, near Jagodina. Stevan Subotić from Kuzmin achieved 16,140 kg dry kernel per hectare with NS 6010 winning the competition of Srem farmers in 2007.
Hybrid NS 6020 yielded 16,380 kg dry kernel per hectare on the field of Tomislav Stanojčev from Irig in 2008, while the same year Radoslav Filipović from Kuzmin achieved 16,209 kg dry kernel per hectare with NS 6030. Trifko Vuković from Kraljevci achieved 16,140 kg dry kernel per hectare with NS 640.
Table 1. 35th Competition of Srem farmers held in Sremska Mitrovica on February 29, 2008
|to 3 ha|
|1||Stevan Subotić||Kuzmin||NS 6010||1,58||16.038|
|3||Ranko Garić||Donji Petrovci||NS 510||1,15||13.741|
|over 3 ha|
|1||Radoslav Vukadinović||Kuzmin||NS 6030||5,00||14.917|
Table 2. 36th Competition of Srem record farmers held in Sremska Mitrovica on February 27, 2009.
|to 3 ha|
|1||Tomislav Stanojčev||Agrina, Irig||NS 6020||2,50||16.380|
|2||Radoslav Filipović||ZZ Kuzmin||NS 6030||2,05||16.209|
|3||Trifko Vuković||Kraljevci||NS 640||2,00||16.140|
|over 3 ha|
|2||Radoslav Vukadinović||ZZ Kuzmin||NS 6010||4,00||14.647|
|3||Ranko Garić||D, Petrovci||Zenit||3,17||14.605|
Comprising 7 PhDs, one MSc, 7 university-educated engineers, 10 technical associates and 40 manual labourers, rationally organized interdisciplinary research and technical team is very successful in developing and marketing new maize hybrids at domestic and foreign markets.
Maize Department maintains broad cooperation with leading scientific facilities from Serbia and abroad. The feature of Maize Department is a fruitful long-term cooperation with extension services and maize producers, which does not end with seed sales, but last all year long. There is practically no field which has not been visited by a Maize Department expert. All our success is not only ours – it also includes many experts and field producers who have always helped us improve and develop even better hybrids, giving us their praises, suggestions and even criticising us. We are grateful to them, paying our respects in offering them improved hybrids and increased efforts in improving maize production in Serbia and abroad.