Maize Performance Trials

The Maize Performance Trials (MPT) is an industry wide trial done across maize hybrids where testing is focused on the agronomic and quality characteristics of close-to-market pre-commercial and commerical maize grain and silage hybrids. 

For a number of years maize growers asked for an independent maize hybrid testing scheme. In 2014, FAR (Foundation for Arable Research) convened an industry discussion to explore the idea of having such a scheme open to all seed companies, similar to the Cereal Performance Trial (CPT) programme that has been operating successfully in New Zealand for over 30 years. Corson Maize Seed was one of the key supporters of the MPT.

The purpose of the MPT programme is to:

  • Provide objective measurement of the agronomic and quality performance of commercial maize hybrids available in New Zealand.
  • Foster industry adoption of proven hybrids to maximise industry efficiency and profitability.
  • Be a pilot testing programme for maize grain and  silage hybrids at four  trial  sites  developed  in  spring 2014. These sites are in the Waikato (two sites), Bay of Plenty  and Canterbury.
  • Add further New Zealand maize grain and silage growing regions into the scheme as experience is gained with the trialling procedures
  • Allow any seed company to enter a hybrid into the scheme.  It  is  expected  that  their  hybrids  will  be backed up with their own trial data, and that seed will be either available commercially or be very close to (within  one  year) commercialisation.

A Maize Technical Committee of representatives from the maize industry was established to govern the trial programme to operate under agreed MPT Operating Procedures. Analyses of the trial results are carried out by an independent statistician. FAR,  NZ Plant Breeding   & Research Association (NZPBRA) and the participating seed companies. Any organisation or company may join the committee if they agree to pay an appropriate share of the operating costs, participate in the running of the trials or contribute a service to the scheme.

The MPT comprises a single stage of hybrid testing focussing on the agronomic and quality characteristics of close-to-market pre-commercial and commercial maize grain and silage hybrids. The trial design is fully  replicated,  small  plot  design  which  includes agreed standard hybrids for comparison and harvest assessments which will be made at an agreed maturity value for the individual hybrids entered into the programme. Weather and  soil  information  is  collected for all trial sites.

The MPT is now in its third year, with its aim being to provide objective  measurement  of  agronomic  and quality performance of commercial maize hybrids available to the New Zealand arable industry across appropriate production regions; and to foster industry adoption of proven hybrids to maximise industry efficiency  and profitability.

The development of an independent maize hybrid testing programme is a considerable investment for the maize seed industry.

Corson Maize Seed was an inaugural supporter of the MPT programme of independent maize hybrid trials, and FAR acknowledges the industry good support of Corson Maize Seed with the MPT programme.

The latest results can be found on the FAR website www.far.org.nz.

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