Small scale plot comparisons are OK if you’re looking for trends, but if you want credible data that farmers will believe, then you’ve got to take it to the field.
As well, if you can involve university researchers, it helps measure the results.
Such was the thinking at Lemken recently as they began upgrading support material for their five-year old Azurit – DeltaRow seed drill.
The DeltaRow provides an offset, alternating pattern for seed rows, which means plants have more room for roots and leaves.
In full-size, field-scale tests Lemkin compared the Azurit – Delta row seed drill with their conventional single-row drill.
Benefits of the Azurit – DeltaRow were most evident when researchers at Osnabruck University used a seeding rate of eight seeds per square metre, the common rate for corn in the Borken region of Germany.
The corn yield increase was 4.5 percent and from the silage, the net energy lactation was 8.2 percent higher and available energy was up 7.9 percent. Gas for energy production was also up more than five percent.
Lemken says that the yield and quality advantages are due to the DeltaRow providing more plants about 70 percent more space to develop compared to conventional single-row approaches.
As a result, each plant has more space to absorb water and nutrients and therefore more room to grow. This has a beneficial effect on plant development. The research also studied the impact of seeding rate, comparing seven, eight or nine seeds per square metre.
Tillage, seed strain, sowing and harvesting times were identical for all trial variants.
The trial was conducted in North Rhine-Westphalia in the spring of 2020 and confirmed in the academic study at Osnabruck University in 2020.