The area of speciality oilseeds is set to soar in the next few years, according to Monsanto’s David Leaper, despite a setback for the firm’s new high oleic, low linolenic (HOLL) variety, V1410L.

Around three to four times this year’s 5,000ha HOLL would be planted next autumn, he predicted. “That’s subject to finding suitable land: We need to be mindful of volunteers and the farm has to be able to keep it separate in store,” he stressed.

With contracts offering a £44/t premium to conventional 00 rapeseeds for harvest 2008, HOLL was a very attractive proposition, particularly for growers with virgin oilseed rape land, such as former sugar beet growers.

ADM’s decision not to accept new variety V1410L was a setback, he admitted, although Cargill was still looking at the higher yielding newcomer.

Splendor, the current standard, has a gross output around 15% lower than conventional variety controls compared with a 9% drop for V1410L. But breeders would be able to close the yield gap, he suggested, adding that in the future the market for premium oilseeds and standard double-lows could mirror milling and feed wheats.