Innovative New OSR Scheme to Reduce Erucic Acid Contamination Concerns

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An innovative scheme launched at Cereals 2017 promises to markedly reduce OSR growers’ erucic acid contamination concerns by harnessing industry- leading breeding, production and analysis technologies.

The Dekalb Clearfield Quality Check Scheme brings together rigorous breeding quality standards, effective volunteer and cruciferous weed control capabilities and advanced pre-movement analytic services.

It is available free of charge to all buyers of six or more 1.5 million seed (3ha) bags of the country’s foremost Clearfield variety range from Dekalb.

In return for registering with the scheme and submitting proof of purchase and the seed lot reference numbers provided on all Dekalb labels, growers will receive a certificate of analysis confirming their seed was tested free of erucic acid, together with special freepost sample bags for 2018 harvest analysis.

Representative samples of the Clearfield rapeseed taken at combining or from the farm store will then be analysed in Dekalb’s state-of-the-art gas chromatography laboratory to provide scheme members with their own confidential pre-movement quantification of erucic acid levels.

“We can give a firm statement of erucic acid-free seed because we have no HEAR breeding in our business and maintain isolation and other quality controls that go well beyond UK certified seed requirements from original parent development, through hybridisation to seed production, processing and packaging,” explained Dekalb marketing manager, Deryn Gilbey at the event.

“We have long tested every batch of our seed for erucic acid, amongst other characteristics. Through the Clearfield scheme we are passing this evidence of the purity we have always prided ourselves in directly to our growers.

“At the same time, we know the Clearfield system can provide unparalleled control of HEAR volunteers as well as cruciferous weeds like charlock, runch and hedge mustard whose seed is relatively high in erucic acid. So it’s the best way of preventing contamination from these sources.

“The final part of our Quality Check jigsaw is to extend the well-proven laboratory facilities we use for the pre-movement testing of HOLL oil profiles to provide our Clearfield growers with reliable erucic acid results as soon after harvest as possible.

“This testing is, of course, only as accurate as the farm sampling,” Deryn Gilbey accepted. “However, together with our original seed certification and the capabilities of the Clearfield system, we believe it will give growers valuable extra peace of mind in the face of the substantial crusher penalties – not to mention crop rejections – for erucic acid contamination.

“It’s all part of our DEKALB commitment to go well beyond supplying seed to providing the best all-round oilseed rape production support we can to our growers.”

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