Updated: Jan 27
Impressive and consistent performance coupled with early maturity have made RGT Duxxbury the number one choice for many maize growers in the South West.
Over the past five years, RGT Duxxbury has produced some very strong performances on farm and in trial across Dorset-based Pearce Seeds’ trading area.
The company supplies products and services to farmers from Hampshire to Devon and into Gloucestershire. The variety has become a firm favourite among many customers due to its reliable performance across a range of soil types and topography over several contrasting seasons.
“RGT Duxxbury really seems to suit the South West,” says Pearce Seeds’ agronomist Giles Simpson. “Its yield, maturity and disease ratings have been very consistent and farmers value that.
“It has good eyespot tolerance, which we are prone to given our high rainfall, as well as proven standing ability that maintains yields and keeps harvest running smoothly. You know the variety won’t let you down.”
Giles says this very early variety punches above its weight in the region, as witnessed by the company’s trials results which outstrip its Descriptive List results.
“Our results have always been consistently better, perhaps because our trials are sited only in the South West. RGT Duxxbury has consistently pipped national market leaders all the way for yield.
“It was our number one seller last year and will be this year and probably for a couple of seasons to come. Most farmers who have grown it see no reason to change. They want consistency and they know they are going to get 16-17t/acre fresh weight year on year, with a variety that matures early enough.”
Early maturity is not just about avoiding wet and difficult harvests. It is also important given the pressures on maize growing in a wet and often hilly region.
“We’re being pushed by water companies and river catchments to get maize off early and get cover crop established,” says Giles.
“The early maturing category – 10 to 12s – make up 60-70% of our market. We done this because we want our farmers to continue to grow maize.
“If we keep leaving late-maturing varieties in the field until the end of October and not getting a crop back in, we’ll be stopped. One or two organisations want maize gone completely, so we need to be realistic and proactive.”
Keeping fields green
Every effort is being made to cut maize no later than the first week of October at
TW and BM Turner’s 650-acre Manor Farm, Hardington Mandeville, Somerset.
Over-wintered bare soils are avoided. Every field after maize is cropped as soon as possible after harvest with a cash crop or oat cover.
“We don’t want our most valuable asset ending up on the road or in the river, and no-one else does either,” says partner Ben Turner.
Variety choice is key to enable the maize harvest date to be pulled back without impinging on the performance of the 220-strong Holstein herd or the youngstock fattening enterprise.
Average lactation yield is 9000 litres, of which about 30% comes from forage, producing high butterfat milk to meet Barber’s cheese contract specification.
Around 75% of this year’s 53ha maize area is RGT Duxxbury, which consistently delivers plenty of highly digestible silage, with even, large cobs high in dry matter, starch content and metabolisable energy.
The variety averages 42-45t/ha fresh weight of high quality feed. Analysis shows the 2021 crop achieved 34.6% dry matter, starch content of 35.6% and ME of 12 MJ/kg five to six weeks after being ensiled.
“RGT Duxxbury is very consistent and has good standing power and eyespot resistance,” says Ben. “We plant it on some pretty exposed fields, and it never falls over.
“We’ve been growing the variety for two years now and see no reason to change. It’s good for our soils and our herd and makes harvest a lot easier too.”
· Early vigour 7
· Dry matter 37.4%
· DM yield t/ha 18.1
· Starch % 34.8
· Starch yield t/ha 6.3
· ME yield (MJ/ha) 210,975
* Pearce Seeds trials 2016-2019
Learn more about RGT Duxxbury: here