LSPB’s confidence in its high-yielding conventional oilseed rape variety Sesame wasn’t being shared by some growers and agronomists at Cereals.

Concerns about the variety’s lack of vigour, late flowering and poor pod set were common talking points, with all hoping that the variety would recover in time to fulfil its yield promise by harvest.

AICC chairman Mike Warner confirmed that there had been some disquiet about Sesame over the two days. “It isn’t a variety that I have much experience of, but we’ve been receiving queries about it on the stand. There’s obviously some variability in crops.”

Bob Mills of Frontier Agriculture added that Sesame had been slower to develop than other varieties on farm, but pointed out that appearance wasn’t the best guide to final performance.

“Oilseed rape never fails to surprise. It’s been a very unusual growing season and it’s a bit too early to tell if it hasn’t suited Sesame any more than other varieties.”

But Lincolnshire grower Mark Sardeson, who has 25ha of Sesame in the ground, reported that parts of his crop were still flowering. “We drilled it on August 24 and it established well, but then didn’t move on as we would have liked and has lacked vigour all year.

“As a result, it’s been hammered by pigeons and is very uneven, especially when compared with our other oilseed rape crops. Combining is going to be interesting.”

However, other growers had no such concerns and were quite happy with their Sesame crops. “There have been problems with poor flowering and blind sites in a number of varieties this season, but not in Sesame,” said Wiltshire-based Richard Butler.

LSPB’s head of oilseed breeding Craig Padley was also relaxed. “It hasn’t been the neatest variety on farm this season, but its top RL ranking tells growers what it is capable of. Yields will be there when the combines start to roll.”