Maize-Common bean- mixture

Through the use of maize-common bean-mixtures the root space is effectively used and higher total yields can be generated. Simultaneously the protein content of the silage increases significantly. In what way the substrate can be used in dairy cattle feed as well as in biogas plants, is currently being researched by the Thünen Institute (Braunschweig, Germany). The ingredient phasin could be problematic here, but first common bean varieties are available on the market where the phasin content is reduced by 20 times. In addition to the advantages mentioned, the common bean as a legume is able to improve the nitrogen utilization of pure maize cultivation. On the one hand, in the case of nitrogen excess, an additional intake can be made by the common bean, while in the case of deficient situations, the nitrogen fixation of the legume takes effect.

Cultivation telegram



Simultaneous sowing of maize and common bean in one row with conventional row spacing

Alternating rows

Conventional maize sowing with 75 cm row spacing, afterwards or max. 3 days after sowing of common bean row exactly between the maize rows

Sowing rate

In dependence on the desired properties of the silage the amount of maize to common bean can be balanced (6 + 6 plants/m²); for an optimal result a low maize overhang is recommended (8 + 4,5 plants/m²).

Herbicide measures*


In the pre-emergence, max. 2 days after so-wing, Spectrum® and Stomp® Aqua. When using Focus Ultra resistant maize varieties, postemergence millet use is possible. Other herbicides are currently being reviewed by the Chamber of Agriculture.


In general good effects can be achieved by hacking. Here the same the same technique as pure maize cultivation can be used.


Usually at the same time as maize, depending on the variety a bit later. The same technique can be used.


  • Maize: stable and insensitive for stem rot
  • Common bean: tolerant for cold, high yielding, adapted maturity groupe

*Please note the current legal situation!

More than just biodiversity!

The maize-common bean-stock is able to utilize the light better. At the same time the crops shade the soil much more, so that the weed pressure can be significantly reduced. Additional advantages are a better tilth which results in a higher biological activity. Even erosion can be improved through the cultivation system!

Maize with common bean

Maize without common bean

Plant stock just before the harvest

The inoculation makes the difference!

Common beans belong to the family Phaseolus. When the benefits of legumes should be utilized and a successful symbiosis between bacteria and plants formed, an inoculation with rhizobia is inevitable on most sites, because the naturally occurring bacteria are only available in very small numbers.

Common bean 10 weeks after sowing with clearly nodule formation

Application inoculants

The liquid inoculant is supplied ready for use and should only be applied just befo-re sowing. In order to achieve an optimal result, the inoculant needs to be applied to seeds as evenly as possible. This can be done using a pump dispenser or a field sprayer. It is recommended to perform the inoculation directly in the seed drill or in a suitable container. Only by careful mixing a safe inoculation can be guaranteed.

Application steps

  1. Shake the bottle well before use
  2. Twist the bottle open and pour the content evenly over the seeds to be treated
  3. Mix the treated seeds well for 20 minutes
  4. Sow treated seeds immediately

Suitability for cattle feeding confirmed!
In practice the first farmers are doing it, the research is following and confirms the feasibility of maize-common bean-silage in cattle feeding. First extensive experiments show that the bitter substance contained in the common beans is no problem for ruminants. No loss of performance of the animals can be observed and no health problems can be identified. Also in the milk phasin can not be detected. Currently hypotheses are formulated that much of the substance is already degraded in the course of silage.

The benefits at a glance

More protein with common beans
Common beans are characterized by a high protein content in grain layers and the whole plant. With 14 % the protein content of the whole plant is twice as high as the protein content of a maize plant. By using the mix-ture less protein has to be fed into the feed.

Fast soil coverage, high weed suppression
The common bean amount leads to a rapid shading of the soil and closes the rows in less time than the corn in pure cultivation. As a result, weeds are suppressed selectively right from the start and at the same time the biological activity of the topsoil is increased. The amount of incidental light is also used much more efficiently by the mixture.

Legume = nitrogen fixing
The common bean is able to enter in a symbiosis with nodule bacteria and thereby make nitrogen available to the plant. This nitrogen can be used for the supply of the bean plants, but also for the neighbouring maize plants.