Pi Pinnacle for peak performance

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Grainseed are pleased that in the recently released AHDB trials, their new conventional winter oilseed rape variety, Pi Pinnacle (Pi 41.7) is the highest yielding conventional variety at 103%. It is the highest yielding conventional variety selected by AHDB as a candidate for the Recommended list in 2024.

Pinnacle was bred in the Cotswolds by Mike Pickford, the last independent oilseed rape breeder, and he has focused on keeping the plant green and building yield at the end of the season. By selecting a high number of pods per plant, high number of seeds in a pod and large seeds, he has been able to increase crop yields. “Pinnacle has performed very well in official and private independent trials in the past three years where it consistently outperformed the popular conventional variety Campus as well as many hybrids. Bred in the Cotswolds means it is a variety fully adapted to UK conditions. In national List 1 trials, Pinnacle yielded 108% which was 5% more than Campus. In NL2 trials it outperformed Campus by 4%, yielding 104% – it was the top conventional variety. In the latest released ADHB over years harvest results, it was the top conventional with 103% compared with 101% for Tom, 98% for Annika and 98% for Acacia, all conventionals. Data from the Official trials shows that the vigour and establishment for Pi Pinnacle is as good as Campus with a 5% increase in yield.”

Not just yield

But it is not just yield that should attract growers to Pinnacle. “If growers are looking to reduce costs as much as possible, growing a high performing conventional variety can enable you to do this,” says Neil Groom, general manager for Grainseed. Pinnacle has large seed and will be packed in a 2 million seed bags with Integral Plus and Sylas for optimum establishment. The top hybrid in 2023 is Turing which has a yield of 106%.

“If a good hybrid cost a farmer £230 per 1.5 million seeds (3 hectares sown at 50 seeds/m²), you can buy 2.2 bags of Pinnacle (equivalent to 5.5 hectares sown at 80 seeds/m²) for the same price as a good hybrid,” explains Neil.

Pinnacle has good overall agronomic characteristics with similar vigour and biomass to many hybrids. Its shows rapid growth during the stem elongation phase, helped by the seed treatments, and it has a top 9 rating for lodging resistance and an 8 for stem stiffness. It also maintains clean green stems when ripening allowing more efficient photosynthesis during the ripening grain filling process.

It is medium to late flowering, reducing the risk of flower loss due to late frosts and is still medium in grain maturity, allowing crops to be harvested before the first wheats are ready to cut.

As for most Grainseed rape varieties, it has a great disease profile. It has a 7 for Light leaf spot, a 6 for Phoma and it also has good Verticillium resistance. This disease profile is better than Campus and for Verticillium resistance it is as good as Catana, the resistant control variety.

“A variety such as Pinnacle offers growers peak yields and peak profits,” says Mr Groom. “We have a small amount of seed for this autumn if growers would like to try it. We have high hopes for this variety in the future.”

“There is plenty of moisture in the ground at the moment, so drilling rape will surely have a positive outcome. Most farms are now clearing all their wheat crops and the balers are tight behind the combine allowing OSR to be drilled now. I am advising growers to drill companion plants with their rape and use placement fertiliser to aid early growth,” he says.

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