A new late maturing maize variety with strong potential has successfully come through its first commercial year on eastern region farms.
High-yielding Neutrino has good early vigour, standing ability and resistance to lodging. Bred by German company Saaten Union, the variety’s first commercial season follows three years of replicated independent trials in the UK.
Last season, Hutchinsons national energy crop and seed manager Peter Brundle placed Neutrino with a small number of experienced eastern region farmers who grow significant areas of maize for biogas production.
“The variety proved that it is up there with the best performing varieties in the late maturing category,” says Mr Brundle.
“Dry matter yield is the most important factor when selecting varieties for biogas production and the initial results and customer feedback certainly seem to confirm Neutrino’s credentials.”
Feedback from agronomists – and encouraging trial results – have seen a significant increase in demand for Neutrino this year, says Mr Brundle. East Anglia is ideal for the variety’s agronomic qualities, he adds.
Originally entered into national list trials in 2018, Neutrino quickly became the highest yielding variety on the list at 21.60t/ha dry matter. It achieves 35% dry matter content at September forage with an average fresh yield of 55-60t/ha.
Neutrino is marketed in the UK by Elsoms Seeds, which has developed UK-specific maize varieties for more than 20 years. The company now offers a range of varieties with maturity ratings to suit all farming systems and end markets.
Elsoms energy and forage crop manager Henrietta Wells says: “It’s a late maturing variety that can be harvested later in the season and its high vigour means it can be drilled early, spreading maize drilling.”
Ms Wells says she is delighted at Neutrino’s early commercial success. “It has good lodging and brackling resistance – ensuring a safe harvest – and excellent ‘stay green’ scores so yield will keep rising until harvest.
“We have some great material coming through now with new maize varieties like Neutrino being the start of a different way of thinking about getting the highest production from energy crops in the UK.”