BREEDING BETTER PRODUCT DECISIONS
Each season, the Australian Pioneer research and STRIKE teams work with local growers and contractors to test a broad range of new experimental hybrids under local conditions at multiple locations.
Firstly, new hybrids are tested in Research trials. These replicated small plot trials are located at approximately 26 sites (11 corn and 15 sorghum) around the country. The key is testing hybrids on-farm in real-life growing conditions, over multiple years, in the same conditions that farmers would experience. Pioneer tests multiple hybrids, over multiple locations and seasons so we can select the best performing hybrids to re-test the next season. We're look for hybrids that will perform consistently across environments and seasons.
Many of the experimental hybrids don’t progress beyond the first stage because their yield and agronomic characteristics are no better than existing commercial hybrids.
An experimental hybrid is tested at research level for a minimum of 3 years. After 3 years of research site testing the handful of hybrids that meet or exceed our minimum trait criteria and also deliver consistent, high-yielding performance in research trials, are then advanced to our STRIKE trial program. STRIKE stands for Seed Technology Research In Key Environments of which there are approximately 40 trial locations each year. STRIKE trials are where hybrids are really put to the test in even more environment and locations. Wider environment selection and more locations allows Pioneer to gather useful information about every aspect of the hybrid. One of the things that makes the STRIKE program an industry leader is the design of the trials. It’s a replicated, randomized trial design with diagonal check hybrids entered throughout the trial, ensuring the data is accurate and not affected by paddock variation, or other variables.
MORE THAN JUST YIELD
New hybrids planted in Research and STRIKE trials are carefully observed and their performance is rated for a broad range of plant performance characteristics such as standability, disease resistance, grain quality and yield. Experimental hybrids that offer real advantages over existing commercial products are identified for local seed production and sales commercialisation.
New hybrids will only be advanced if they exceed the agronomy and disease tolerance requirements for the environment they will be grown in. By the time a hybrid has been commercially released, you can be assured it has been tested over multiple years – usually around 5-6 years, and in multiple locations and seasons.
Trials conducted by the Pioneer research and STRIKE team around the country each season help determine which products to advance and provide growers the opportunity to attend field walks to view new hybrids. They also allow the team to gain knowledge of the hybrids in your growing region.
CHOOSING WHAT FITS
Over the past 40 years, Pioneer research technicians, contractors and local farmers have planted thousands of hybrid plots in trials across Australia. So you can be confident that when you see Pioneer® brand hybrids winning in your paddock, it’s because they have made it through the most rigorous testing programme in the industry.