12th September 2022

New varieties show good early vigour in maize under plastic trials

Maize breeder Limagrain UK is running its maize under plastic trial for a fifth year, providing UK growers with up-to-date information on the performance of 45 different varieties. The trial looks at both new varieties and current commercial varieties.  Two new varieties, Ambition and Asgaard, are both demonstrating very good early vigour, enabling the plant to grow through the plastic quickly.

Limagrain’s trials manager Richard Camplin explains: “The trial site at Newark will allow us to evaluate a range of material for emergence, vigour, yield and quality.

“It includes both new available varieties under evaluation for growing under plastic and established varieties such as Award and Beacon, which we already know can produce high dry matter yields with excellent starch content when grown under plastic.  These have both again proven that they have excellent early vigour and they emerged quickly through the plastic. There’s commercial growing experience to back this up in addition to numerous trials. First emergence through the plastic happened within three weeks and both varieties appear very green and healthy and are looking promising.”

Mr Camplin adds: “Ambition is showing the same excellent early vigour as we see in conventional sowings, with rapid emergence through the plastic. Asgaard is a very new high starch variety. This has also shown good, vigorous early growth and fast emergence through the plastic. Although it’s not yet on the NIAB List, seed is now available.

“Although the trial was sown nearly one month later this year, we hope to still see the benefit of the plastic with the crop being ready for harvest by up to a month earlier than conventional sown crops. At harvest we will see if the potential yield benefits are realised, enabling recommendations to be made about which varieties are most successful under plastic.”

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