Harvest results from Openfield’s oilseed rape farm strip trials show the hybrid Aquila to have had an outstanding season.
Aquila produced the highest gross output out of 20 varieties at 5.67, and an oil content of 45.4%
“Aquila was in the top yielders across all of the three trial sites in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire, but did particularly well in Yorkshire with a gross output of 5.93. The oil content across all three trials was pretty consistent only ranging by 2% across sites, “says Lee Bennett, head of seeds with Openfield.
High gross output and robust agronomics are a must if we are to minimise cropping risks and costs associated with growing OSR today and Aquila’s excellent performance is backed up with high disease resistance ratings, good agronomics, vigorous establishment and rapid early crop development, he says.
“By choosing a variety offering all of this it is possible to minimise these threats and reduce the overall costs of growing the crop.”
Aquila’s high yields are backed up by an AHDB resistance rating of 8 for phoma (stem canker), as well as a very good rating of 6 for light leaf spot. “Genetic defence against light leaf spot is crucial to a successful crop; the disease is now widespread across the UK and we no longer have the chemistry needed to control it.”
A good phoma resistance allows growers to focus on a timely LLS fungicide programme, with some compromise on the early autumn phoma spray, under moderate infection conditions,” he says.
Aquila is a medium-tall variety with very stiff straw, and is early to mature; all of which make it a useful variety on farm.
“Vigorous establishment and rapid early crop growth are essential to an OSR crop if it is to have any chance of getting away from flea beetle and slugs that can decimate a crop before it has even got going. Aquila has demonstrated its superb autumn and spring vigour so it is a real contender, particularly when conditions are less than ideal or when it is late drilled after a preceding wheat crop.”
Mr Bennett considers pod shatter resistance to be a very important characteristic in OSR, as those varieties that carry a high degree of pod shatter resistance, such as Aquila, can make a real difference to seed losses both before and at harvest.
“When looking at what Aquila has to offer, the variety is a complete package and readily deserves very strong consideration when deciding upon the variety mix for planting in autumn 2017.”