Rangitīkei grain growers Simon and Kate Nitschke of Arable Solutions are keen to get planting again after being awarded the Paul Baker Cup for the highest yielding grain trial for the 2023 season.
Based on a series of on-farm grain strip trials that contribute to Pioneer Brand Products’ maize hybrid evaluation programme, the national competition is judged across five growing regions.
In its 25-year history this is the first time the cup has been awarded in the Rangitīkei region.
The Nitschkes were presented with the award at the Pioneer grain growers conference in Hamilton.
They also received the regional Manawatū-Rangitikei regional grain yield trophy.
This winning trial was planted on October 10 and harvested in early May, achieving a maize grain yield of 20.20 tonnes per hectare with the Pioneer brand P0937.
“It’s proven to be a high-yielding hybrid, well adapted to the Rangitīkei and very defensive against northern leaf blight, which impacted many crops last season,” Simon Nitschke said.
“Farming can be long and challenging days with unsettled weather but to be able to celebrate our industry and the growing conditions the Rangitikei offers makes this season extra special.”
Pioneer regional manager David McDonald said this season’s trials include several stable new hybrids with the potential to deliver even higher yields.
“While Northland and east coast growers haven’t been as fortunate this year due to rain and wind, the Rangitīkei, Manawatū and even the South Island have produced some exceptional yields,” McDonald said.