FOUR OUT OF FIVE of the oilseed rape Recommended List newcomers in 2005 have stolen half the market share for this autumn’s plantings, according to Dalgety.

Established varieties had previously accounted for about three-quarters of the plantings, but this year there has been a signifcant turn-around, the company’s Barry Barker said.

“Our figures show Winner suffering particularly badly at the hand of the new arrivals. Indeed, it’s barely managing to hold onto 10% of the national area.”

Newly-recommended Castille, a low biomass variety, had stolen the market leader’s crown with an 18% share – up from 5% in 2004 – while Lioness also moved up to 14% from 2% last season, according to Dalgety’s findings.

Varieties Expert, ES Astrid and NK Bravour had 13%, 8% and 4% share respectively.

Conventional varieties have continued to grow area at the expense of hybrids, although Mr Barker said the trend had been slowed by hybrid Excalibur which took more than 2% of the market.

Low biomass plantings accounted for 33% of the national area, up from 21% last year, he added.

Dalgety’s figures are based on an estimate of UK certified seed sales plus farm-saved seed.


2005/6 Winter oilseed rape plantings by variety

Castille 18%
Lioness 14%
Expert 13%
Winner 10%
ES Astrid 8%
Caracas 5%
Pollen 5%
Nk Bravour 4%
Royal 3%

Other conventionals 16%
Other hybrids 4%