Maize growers are being offered a 50% discount towards the cost of re-sowing any Initio Bird Protect-treated KWS seed variety damaged by bird predation or frost in the 2021 sowing season. The leading seed breeding company has launched the service to underline its confidence in the product, and to provide growers with a risk-sharing opportunity.
The seed treatment, KWS Initio Bird Protect (IBP) product will be used across the majority of KWS maize seed varieties, explains the firm’s maize product manager, John Burgess. It was developed following the withdrawal of approval for the seed treatment, Mesurol, which acted as a bird deterrent.
“In my opinion, sowing untreated maize seed is not an option,” he says. “The risk of bird damage is too great and an effective seed treatment represents an insurance policy to secure crop yields.
“We did not receive a single report of bird damage in KWS seed varieties that had received the KWS Initio Bird Protect treatment in 2020. Our new KWS maize seed service for re-sowing has been launched to back up our claim that the product will deter birds.”
KWS Initio Bird Protect also contains zinc, manganese and humic acids, plus a phosphate mobiliser which makes the nutrient available at a soil temperature of 3 degrees C and above. The nutritional ingredients have a highly positive effect on plant growth and vigour, mainly through the promotion of healthy root formation.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that it will not be necessary for growers to apply for the 50% discount in 2021, if their IBP-treated crop is affected by frost damage.
“Modern maize varieties are extremely vigorous and have a much greater degree of frost tolerance, compared with varieties that were available even a few years ago,” says Mr Burgess.
“In the vast majority of cases, maize sown at the correct time will germinate without problems. Nevertheless, spring weather can be unpredictable and our service offers potential financial savings on seed costs, in the event that frost damage occurs.
“As a further precaution, I would advise the use of our free, online KWS soil temperature tool. Growers can enter their farm postcode to find the current soil temperature at 10cms; the surface temperature is also shown, to indicate frost risk.
“Research has confirmed that maize requires a minimum of 8 degrees centigrade for three consecutive days for successful germination on light soils, with a figure of 12 degrees C for heavy soils.”
To qualify for the re-sowing discount, all eligible fields sown with KWS varieties treated with KWS Initio Bird Protect must be registered no later than 14 days post-sowing, with the delivery note or invoice uploaded to the company website. The service can be used until 30 June, 2021 and users must be registered on the free, myKWS system, which provides supportive materials and useful online tools for maize growers. Find the KWS Maize Seed Service and the KWS soil temperature tool at Maize Seed Service- KWS UK Ltd.