Long winter – amazing spring activities at DLF breeding stations

Get carried away by the breath-staggering activities conducted these days at the DLF breeding sites.

If you find yourself at one of DLFs breeding stations in UK, NL, FR, CZ, or DK these days you would not be standing for long before someone would persuade you start helping sowing turf trials, clone mother plants for the nursery, drill the large yield trials or assist in whatever activity is needed.

Following a generally mild but very long winter all programs are set on edge and every minute of sunlight and dry soil conditions are used to the maximum extend. Fortunately, working spirit is high and exchange of personnel between the sites has accommodated an efficient utilization of time and resources. Blessed with sunny weather, birds singing in the sky and the steam train going by the Dutch- and the UK team managed together at full speed in transplanting thousands of nursery plants that will become tomorrow’s new varieties.

Same glorious experience of working together awaits the Danish team as they gear up for hand sowing turf trials. This year they will sow no less than 15,000 turf plots as last summer’s wet conditions rendered sowing impractical.

Cutting of forage trials have already started at the first locations in FR, CZ, and UK. A rainy April followed by sunny conditions has provided excellent conditions for biomass growth and all grasses are demonstrating impressing daily increase rates of up to 20%. During harvest, samples are measured online for dry matter yield, fiber digestibility ad other quality parameters with near-infrared cameras.

Above all, there are eyes in the sky, watching and monitoring growth, stress, diseases. These are drones, which are currently finding their way into the breeding processes providing new information and new options.