Despite the lockdown and travel restrictions, LG Seeds will still be testing maize varieties at sites across the country this year.
In total the company will harvest in excess of 7500 trial plots in six of their own locations across the country, as well as at one official BSPB/NIAB trial site, allowing approximately 600 new and commercial varieties to be assessed. Logistics surrounding the lockdown meant they were unable to sow the usual trial sites in the south west of England, so alternative sites had to be identified, including at Caistor in Lincolnshire.
“Our trial sites are the cornerstone of our work to evaluate maize varieties in UK conditions to identify those varieties which will meet farmers requirements,” explains Richard Camplin, LG Seeds technical manager.
“With increasing environmental pressures, the demand for early maturing varieties which allow earlier establishment of successor crops is growing. At the same time, increasing purchased feed costs mean farmers want varieties that combine starch and cell wall digestibility to deliver feeds capable of driving production from forage.”
Mr Camplin says the results from UK trials helps provide the data to drive informed decision making about variety choice. In addition to new varieties, trial plots this year include Prospect which is very early maturing with exceptional ME content, Resolute which combines high yields and quality and Conclusion which delivers high ME yields per hectare.
“We were determined to establish all our trial plots this year as the need for variety data continues, irrespective of the lockdown. Interestingly, the move to Caistor has allowed us to evaluate varieties under min till conditions, which will be a valuable additional insight,” Mr Camplin concludes.