Winter oilseed rape newcomer Campus has topped Pearce Seeds trials in the South West of England, producing a seed yield more than 0.5t/ha ahead of the next best variety. 

Campus yielded 5.41t/ha on the three-replicate trial of 3.2m x 12m plots at Sturminster Newton, Dorset, followed by the hybrids DK Exstorm and SY Harnas at 4.87t and 4.83t/ha respectively. The open pollinator, Trinity was not far behind.

“That’s an exceptional performance for a conventional variety in a fairly challenging year when yields are low,” says Paul Taylor, Pearce Seeds’ general manager.

Campus produced a compact plant type and was shorter than previous figures suggested, he added.

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“It’s the type of oilseed rape that anyone could handle with an apparent in-built benefit of good verticillium wilt tolerance as well.

“With many growers looking to drill early to counteract the increased threat of pests, post the neonicitinoid ban, Campus, with its stiff straw and good lodging, will not get out of hand and stood well in the storms we had on site. 

“Furthermore, unlike hybrids it won’t cost much more if you wish to up the seed rate a bit.”

However, growers should not ignore the potential of hybrids to gain a good establishment, added Mr Taylor. 

“Phoma resistant, DK Exstorm can also be drilled early and has the pod shatter gene, while SY Harnas is a short, stiff, early Excalibur type and comes dressed with Force insecticide.”