Oilseed rape still viable despite recent challenges

LinkedIn +

With numerous WOSR plots to see at Cereals, Hutchinsons’ national seed manager, David Bouch suggests that oilseed rape is still be a viable option in the rotation.

While decisions around the crop will likely be delayed, or even a spontaneous decision, he added that around 300,000 hectares are projected to be planted next season.

The biggest factors affecting this will be the commodity prices, decisions made regarding the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and soil conditions in the months ahead of sowing.

“Oilseed rape still works for many growers albeit in much reduced numbers,” he said. ”However, the biggest consideration remains conditions at the time of planting; if soils are warm and more importantly there is sufficient moisture, then oilseed rape still provides a very viable option in the crop rotation.

“Hybrid varieties offer the best case for establishment and indeed the key traits for the growing season have not wavered – in fact, the case has hardened in their favour.

“Aurelia from Limagrain UK will remain very popular and is currently the market leader in terms of ha’s planted, but newcomer LG Academic perhaps now offers a little more across the board and is a better option for the north, whilst sitting very well placed on the Recommended List.”

He added that Limagrain’s Aviron will likely be a key variety for those drilling later in the season, thanks to its mix of traits and vigour and that growers should also consider Attica.

“Other hybrid variety options include Maverick from LSPB, newly added to the candidate list, which has excellent disease resistance on offer with 7 for LLS and 9 for Phoma. It also possesses TuYV resistance and RLMS Phoma genetics, therefore offering a different option for crop management.

“Pioneer’s PT312 offers TuYV resistance and Sclerotinia tolerance. Sclerotinia tolerance has also been shown to have as much as a 15% advantage in yield in untreated trials. PT312 also has a very good oil content of 47.6%. It also has very strong scores for standing ability.

“DK Excentric offers the same traits as the highlighted Limagrain varieties, with yield not dissimilar to Ambassador. Whilst not the highest gross output, Dekalb is closing the gap, supporting all their variety sales with an establishment scheme which may prove the decider as to whether to venture into oilseed rape this autumn,” he said.

He added that Clearfield was also a strong contender, with Matrix CL topping the AHDB listings.

With Clubroot likely to be a challenge for many, he also recommended LG Scorpion. “LG Scorpion ticks all the boxes here with excellent vigour and establishment, decent disease scores and TuYV resistance. Although not on the Recommended List, it has attributes that current recommended varieties cannot match,” he explained.

Conventional varieties will remain in favour of the home-saved seed market, concluded Mr Bouch. “Here, newly recommended Pi Pinnacle steps into the frame, whilst my other top picks are Acacia, KWS Campus and Annika for those who want the TuYV trait in a conventional variety, although I believe the trait is better served by the hybrid offer.”

Share this story:

About Author