New Pioneer variety proven in fields and silage clamps

Made commercially available in the UK for the first-time last year, growers of Pioneer’s new variety P7179 have capitalised upon some great forage this winter.

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A high yielding and early maturing variety, P7179 is supplied by ForFarmers and produces two cobs per plant providing an extended flowering time and therefore pollination period.

Alan Lockhart, ForFarmers’ Forage Technical Manager, commented: “In a catchy season, the P7179 variety has an extended period to lay down starch as, after all, it’s total energy per acre which we are most focused on”.

Having trialled the variety using the unique ‘Test The Best’ system across the country in the drought year of 2022, Alan says the P7179 crop was head and shoulders above the other varieties of the same maturity in the PACTS (Pioneer Accurate Crop Testing System) sites. Nowadays, the variety makes up 90% of his offering to farms who want yield and quality, but also the opportunity to drill a crop in post-harvest with the option of claiming an SFI payment under the SAM2 umbrella.

He said: “The variety can be deceiving in the field, particularly when we have been conditioned to look for that one big cob in maize crops. The biomass of the crop is very evident, and the plants are tall in stature which makes its excellent lodging score even more important.

“Silage analyses have been particularly encouraging, with key performance indicators such as 39% starch and 45% DM being a regular occurrence on laboratory reports, not to mention yields of 16-18 tonnes per acre harvested.”

Alan recommends Pioneer varieties to his customers due to their excellent disease resistance scores especially when it comes to eye spot which is a cool season, wet weather yield-robbing disease.

He said: “If eye spot comes into crops and the plant is susceptible, leaves become diseased and photosynthesis stops, therefore preventing energy reaching the cobs, reducing tonnage and quality. Good breeding can prevent this from happening.”

Pioneer varieties have a unique ‘stay green’ property which promotes continued photosynthesising and laying down of starch and that has been particularly evident in the cool and often unpredictable growing season just experienced.

“At the end of the day it’s all about maximising energy in every bite of silage and the genetics within the Pioneer stable have continually come to the fore for me, which is why variety selection is an easy decision when it comes to satisfying my customers’ needs,” explained Alan.

“A greener plant at harvesting with cobs at the desired maturity results in more free sugar for a fast and efficient fermentation in the clamp and digestibility and in the rumen.

Pioneer P7179 maize cropped 1

“To complete the package I always recommend the use of Pioneers 11C 33 or 11 GFT as the inoculant of choice when preserving the crop we have worked hard to grow. There is little point is wasting valuable dry matter tonnes at this point, and choosing a crop specific inoculant complements my rumen agronomy focus perfectly.”

ForFarmers provides agronomy with a clear focus on the forage for ruminant animals, promoting sustainable land use, herd health and performance be that in red meat or milk production.

Alan concluded: “Varieties like P7179 have proven themselves to me and the herds it is feeding. I am very excited by the constant flow of new genetics which is continually becoming available from Pioneer to help us achieve our goals.”

Contact your local account manager to discuss your options.

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