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On-farm strip trials provide insight into hybrid performance

Stewart Glasgow in his crop of Pioneer® brand 37N01.

On-farm strip trials provide insight into hybrid performance

2009/10 Season

Owners: Stewart and Christine Glasgow
Farm location: Rangitikei
Farm size: 22 ha
Pioneer® brand hybrids grown: 37Y12, 37N01
Number of seasons growing: 3

A Pioneer® brand 37Y12 strip trial yield of 17.92 t/ha made maize grower Stewart Glasgow the Lower North Island winner of the 2009 Pioneer® brand seeds Maize for Grain Yield Competition.

Stewart, wife Christine and son Adam run a mixed cropping and livestock farm as well as an engineering business on 174 ha at Turakina, 20 km south of Wanganui.

This season, they are growing 22 ha of maize, 5 ha of malting barley and running 800 Romney ewes and finishing lambs as well as 140 beef cattle. Stewart started growing maize for the first time three seasons ago.

"Other Turakina Valley friends were growing maize very successfully and suggested we try," says Stewart. "We were growing cereal on ground that was way too good for it and were able to increase our profit by switching to maize grain."

When it comes to selecting hybrids, Stewart relies on the Pioneer Weigh Wagon book, as well as advice from local Pioneer® brand seeds Area Manager David McDonald.

In spring 2008, he planted Pioneer® brand 38P05 which yielded 14.5 t/ha. In spring 2009, he planted Pioneer® brand 37Y12 which yielded an average of 15.5 t/ha. This year, he has planted a mix of 37Y12 and 37N01. The latter hybrid yielded 18.25 t/ha in his on-farm strip trial in the 2008-09 growing season.

Stewart aims for a 10 October planting date, although this season’s crop was not planted until early November due to wet weather. He applies 350 kg/ha of Nitrophoska 12:10:10 as a starter fertiliser and follows with a sidedress application of 350 kg/ha urea when the crop is at knee height.

Stewart’s weed control programme includes a post emergent spray to control summergrass as well as annual weeds. Grain is harvested in May when it reaches a moisture content of 22 - 23%.

He has been a keen participant in the Pioneer® brand seeds maize grain hybrid evaluation programme ever since he started growing maize.

"Growing a strip trial on-farm allows us to see the new hybrids and gives us an idea of how they perform. It also allows us to compare our yields with those achieved by other growers in similar yield environments."

"The new hybrids are pushing up the yields each year," says Stewart. "After three years, maize grain has become a fixed part of our farming system and we would like to grow more in the future."