Pioneer lucerne offers better quality & improved disease resistance
Date: 20 August 2015
Flexibility in lucerne crop management and better quality feed for livestock are the two distinct advantages of Pioneer® brand lucerne being planted throughout the country this spring.
While many other lucerne varieties being sold in New Zealand originate from the late 1980s, more than 25 years ago, new Pioneer varieties are meeting the expectations of today's farmers wanting more yield, more persistence, improved disease resistance and higher nutritional quality.
Pioneer lucerne is offering more leaf without the stalkiness of some other lucerne varieties, says Dick Arnst, an agronomist specialising in lucerne crops for Pioneer.
"Pioneer is breeding lucerne that has finer and denser tillering and thinner and softer stems so almost the entire foliage can be digested by the animal."
"The yields of different varieties may be similar but the distinction with Pioneer is higher quality and their lucernes' improved disease resistance."
The benefits suit modern farming systems, where a higher quality and more palatable silage-based ration is the order of the day.
Pioneer® brand 54V09 has become known for its nutritional quality, persistency and winter hardiness - the first crops planted in 2010 still growing well and demonstrating that a predicted stand life of 7 plus years is in fact a reliable estimate.
54V09 offers a high level of disease resistance as does newly released Pioneer® brand 55Q27 which represents the latest Pioneer genetics with an unwavering emphasis on forage quality.
It's already earning praise from growers as an excellent crop.
Both varieties have become the first choice for growers wanting exceptional forage quality in hay and silage and their low growing crown and dense tillering enables them to be grazed with low risk of crown damage.
Both Pioneer lucerne varieties are highly resistant (more than 50% resistant plants) to various fungi and bacteria causing rot or plant wilt, highly resistant to stem nematode and resistant (31-51% resistant plants) to spotted and pea aphids under heavy infestation.
In comparison other lucerne varieties, such as Kaituna, have only resistance or moderate resistance (16-30% resistant plants) to most challenges, apart from high resistance to Fusarium Wilt.
A further bonus for growers is Pioneer lucerne comes with Nitragin® Plus that combines superior strains of naturally selected nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobium) with Apron XL® fungicide - effective against seedling fungal diseases - and lime.
Unlike other coated lucerne, Nitragin® Plus is a light coat that increases total seed weight by just 9%. This enables more pure seed in a given weight compared to other lucerne coatings that increase the seed weight by 25%.
Nitragin® Plus is a registered Trademark of EMD Crop BioScience and/or its affiliates.
Apron XL® is a registered Trademark of Syngenta