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Read all the latest news from the agronomy services industry.

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Read all the latest news from the agronomy services industry.


Latest News

A Testing year for Maize

Published: Monday, March 7, 2016
Category: Cereal News

A Testing year for Maize

A Testing year for Maize

2015 has been a testing year for maize, in contrast to the excellent results seen in 2014. However, yields have been better than expected, though many crops and indeed trials have scarcely been ripe at harvest. Primarily, the cool and wet late summer weather delayed the important starch-building period of crop development and lead to a delay in maturity.  At the time of reporting, starch analysis results have yet to be produced. Accordingly, any comments on quality await the outcome of those tests.

Pearce Seeds has invested heavily in maize trials in recent years to give us the best insight for varieties in the South West. Trialling the latest varieties in our nursery plots gives us an early indication of good varieties to guide the selections for our main trials. We have six carefully selected trials sites across the South West. Our sites vary in soil type from light chalk, through loam to heavy clay and from an altitude of 150 feet to 600 feet above sea level. These give us the most representative trials results for our region. Our six replicated trials were established in May this year and harvested in early October. The locations were: Plumber Farm, Sturminster Newton; Sparsholt College, Winchester; Cannard’s Grave, Shepton Mallett; Closworth, Yeovil; Shave Cross, Bridport; and Membury, Axminster. One of these sites was damaged, and although cut, the plot yields were too inconsistent for inclusion. Hence five sites contribute to the end result.

Control varieties this year are: Glory, Crescendo, Severus and Venetia.

Dry matter yields in our trials have ranged from 17.4 t/ha to 14.8 t/ha. Alongside those yields dry matter content runs from 25% at the wettest to 34% as the driest.

Emmerson and Augustus have emerged as the earliest varieties, achieving 15.8 t/ha dry matter at 33% DM content. The next group contains Glory, Bradley, Oxxgood and Crescendo where similar yields have been produced. The later varieties are Severus, Nordicstar and Venetia; with lower DM percentage and slightly higher yield.

In conclusion, before any starch content and energy levels are seen, it appears that the very early varieties have taken full advantage of the weather conditions of the season, and not much extra yield have been achieved by the later varieties that normally have the capacity to utilise any late summer heat. Therefore the drive toward growing earlier varieties will probably continue, as the pressure to re-instate land to a replacement crop following maize is maintained. Our trials have again revealed plenty of compelling reasons to take our advice when choosing the best variety for your location.

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Please contact us for more information:

Pearce Seeds LLP
Rosedown Farm
Marston Road
Sherborne
Dorset
DT9 4SX


Tel: 01935 811 400
Fax: 01935 816 800

Email: info@pearceseeds.co.uk