A Marton farmer has bragging rights amongst his peers after being recognised in a regional competition.
Simon Nitschke, of family-run business Arable Solutions, has won the Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua regional title in the 2020 Pioneer Maize Grain for Yield Competition.
Arable Solutions specialises in agricultural contracting and feed grain supply and storage, and Nitschke said the win has made the friendly rivalry between local maize growers all the more entertaining.
"I have enjoyed rubbing it in a bit," he said.
"But in all seriousness, winning the title does mean a bit to us; it reinforces to us that we are on the right track."
Each year Pioneer Brand Products runs a series of on-farm grain strip trials as part of its hybrid testing programme.
All growers who have a grain strip trial are entered into the Pioneer Maize Grain for Yield Competition, with growers who achieve industry-leading yields with Pioneer hybrids recognised each season.
The competition is run in five North Island regions, with regional winners and an overall national winner recognised based on yield.
Nitschke's winning hybrid P0937 yielded 19.7 tonnes/ha, the second highest regional yield this season.
P0937 has proven to be a superstar this season, with four of the five regional winners succeeding with this hybrid.
"P0937 is quite a long-maturity hybrid for us, but we thought we'd give it a nudge and use it in the trial. We typically use hybrids in the mid-maturity range, so we were quite intrigued when P0937 did so well."
Nitschke is in his fifth season growing maize, typically growing around 200ha of Pioneer hybrids P0547 and P9721.
Nitschke said they will plant the next maize crop early to take advantage of longer maturity hybrids.
"If it doesn't rain, we'll be planting in early October. This will give the crop the opportunity to maximise its high-yield potential."