Montgomery seed rate trial 2017


Fraser Jones

Above: Fraser Jones

Maize trial plot drilling finally got underway on Wednesday (3 May), at Court Calmore Farm in Montgomery, Powys. Host farmer, Fraser Jones, will be comparing the results from a range of five different seed rates, varying from 85,000 seeds/ha to 110,000 seeds/ha. The crop will be used to feed the 1,000-cow dairy herd, which averages 10,000kgs.

The variety used in the trial is Autens KWS, which is also being sown on the farm commercially, along with Aurelius KWS and Sergio KWS. The seed was drilled with a Vaderstad Tempo V, selected for its ability to meet precision drilling targets.

“We were pleased to host the trial, as it gives us the opportunity to evaluate the results on our own land,” says Mr Jones, who farms in partnership with his father, Maurice. “Our maize ground sits at roughly 80 metres above sea-level and includes a range of soils, from clay to medium and light, so yields vary. However we usually achieve 40-50 freshweight tonnes per hectare and we rely on maize, which we use at a 40% inclusion rate in our TMR.†

“Our standard seed rate is 110,000 seeds/ha, but we are prepared to look at a lower figure, if the greater access to sunlight can give us increased starch and the potential to bring harvest forward by a few days. †Autens performed well for us last year and we hope that its success will be repeated this season.”