Of the eight additions to the Recommended List for winter oilseed rape for 2009/10 only one, Dekalb’s semi-dwarf DK Secure, is recommended for both regions.

The sole conventional newcomer, Senova’s Vision, beating the previous best conventional type, Castille, by 3% for gross output* is recommended only for the east and west.

Of the new restored hybrids for the east and west, both Pioneer’s PR46W21 and DSV UK’s Dimension outperform the previous best, Flash, – by 6% and 3% respectively. Both have good lodging resistance, as does Vision, Dimension having slightly better disease resistance than PR46W21.

The third new restored hybrid, for the east and west only, is DSV UK’s Hammer. Its gross output is the same as Flash’s.

“It has a little bit better lodging resistance, but more importantly it rates 7 for resistance to stem canker,” says Dr McVittie. Flash merits only 5.

Two restored hybrids are recommended for the north region, Cuillin from KWS UK and Nickerson’s Emerson. Their key feature is a 9 rating for light leaf spot resistance.

“It’s very important for northern growers. Even with our RL protocols we often struggle to control leaf spot and never control it completely.”

Neither offers quite the gross output of Flash, Cuillin being 1% adrift and Emerson 4% behind. But both have better lodging resistance, notes Dr McVittie.

The highest northern yielder remains conventional Catana, 2% ahead of Flash, but it rates only 7 for light leaf spot resistance. “We think growers in the north will be quite attracted by a 9.”

Of the two new semi-dwarf varieties there is little to choose in the east and west region between Pioneer’s PR45D03 and DK Secure, the latter being only 1% adrift on gross output. Both are slightly behind Toccata and well down on Flash, but have top marks for lodging resistance.

Of the two PR45D03 is slightly shorter – 125cm as opposed to 135cm.

Both are shorter than the shortest non-dwarf hybrid, Excalibur, but DK Secure is only 8cm shorter than the shortest conventional types, Castille and ES Astrid, notes Dr McVittie.

No longer recommended are Barrel, Disco, Fortis or Winner.

* Gross output = combination of yield and oil content.