Producing feed and fuel

The Yield-Pro® planter at work in Germany
The Yield-Pro® planter at work in Germany

Dairy farmers in Germany will have their chance to assess the merits of the Yield-Pro® planter thanks to a series of eight field trials being conducted by plant breeder Pioneer and Great Plains.

Most of the sites are in Lower Saxony, says Jurgen Koch, from Pioneer:

“That region has the highest maize-growing concentration in Germany and it is a very important crop for livestock farmers, both for feeding to dairy cows, but also because many of them use maize with slurry in the bio-gas production plants they have on farm.

“We will be comparing the Twin-Row with other single-row planters, and establishing crops at different seed rates (75,000, 85,000 and 95,000 seeds/hectare)”.

The trials will compare two types of maize, one that produces higher volumes of forage, and the other which yields slightly less, but produces much better quality grain:

“The interest in the quality varieties comes because they could reduce the amount of crop that needs to be transported or stored”.

PIONEER is also trialling different one-pass oilseed rape establishment systems on one of the sites, with “farm practice” being represented by a cultivator working to 15cms - 20cms depth, against a Great Plains Simba DTX with the restructuring legs working to 30cm.