AIC re-issues Erucic Acid Code of Practice in certified seed for oilseed rape

The Agricultural Industries Confederation has re-issued the Voluntary Code of Practice for testing for erucic acid in certified seed of oilseed rape as the industry prepares for more stringent standards.

The long-expected reduction in the limit for erucic acid in vegetable oil from 5% to 2% is working its way through the legislative process. It is expected to be implemented well before harvest 2020, so action is needed now as planting begins again.

Formulated in 2018 by the AIC Combinable Crops Seeds Committee with its working group, and supported by British Society of Plant Breeders, the proposed Code states:

-All testing of seed and seed lots undertaken at any stage prior to delivery of certified seed onto farm should be undertaken using the Gas Chromatography test (GC) which can be accurate down to 0.1%.

-Results from a GC test should be available on request. Companies may determine the route by which this is achieved (ie. website, email, written notification).  Companies are free to make available test results other than on request.

Both AIC and BSPB are encouraging their members to consider participating to provide reassurance to both farmer customers and the wider oilseed chain that certified seed provides assurance that seed is fit for purpose.

Chris Guest, chairman of the AIC Seeds Committee says: This Code of Practice is just one of the ways in which the certified seed industry is supporting growers, through its professionalism and commitment to delivering a quality product. The AHDB’s ‘Guidelines to minimise the risk of erucic acid in double-low oilseed rape’ state that farm-saved seed is associated with higher risks of elevated erucic acid levels, and erucic acid tests should be conducted on all seed sources before drilling.

“The risk factors identified in the AHDB report, particularly the challenges volunteers pose to erucic acid levels shows there has never been a better time to reduce your risk by choosing certified seed.”

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.