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Seed innovation aids lucerne establishment

Innovative seed technology from Germinal proven to improve the establishment of the forage crop lucerne was one of ten entries selected for the UK Dairy Day 2015 New Product Zone.

 

The new technology, says Germinal, will help UK livestock farmers make better use of a valuable high protein forage option, thereby reducing feed costs and creating greater sustainability for their businesses.

“Lucerne has the potential to provide substantial dry matter yields of quality feed that is very high in protein, mainly as a conserved forage,” said Helen Mathieu of Germinal.
“Accurate drilling and good establishment to create the optimum plant population is essential with lucerne if best use is to be made of the crop. This has historically been challenging for many farmers in the UK, so innovation that will significantly improve success rates with lucerne is a real breakthrough.”

Developed in France, the seed technology involves pre–inoculation of lucerne seed with Rhizobia meliloti bacteria and application of a multi–layered permeable coating that provides essential nutrients (SAS Energy) and seed uniformity to improve drilling accuracy. The treated seed is then supplied in measured packs (Precidose) to provide an optimum seed rate.

The technology has been shown in comparative trials to increase plant establishment by 14% and increase lucerne dry matter yield by 6% at first cut. 

Germinal is now supplying cold–tolerant lucerne varieties bred for UK conditions treated with SAS Energy technology and in Precidose packs. The high ranking varieties Timbale and Galaxie are available for 2016 sowing, along with Galaxie Max, which is a blend of Timbale and Galaxie.nnovative seed technology from Germinal proven to improve the establishment of the forage crop lucerne was one of ten entries selected for the UK Dairy Day 2015 New Product Zone.

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