5 April 1996

Continental sale will boost

hybrid OSR

HYBRID oilseed rape production is due for a fillip following CPB Twyfords recent sale to continental buyers, says managing director Ray Spreadbury.

The buyers, KWS subsidiary Lochow-Petkus, the privately owned NPZ Lembke in Germany and the Sigma co-operative in France with its Serasem breeding operation, provide exclusive access to three diverse gene pools for producing new rape varieties.

The move also involves a "pooling" of cereal breeding resources which should strengthen the already increasing flow of UK-bred varieties across the Channel, he believes.

CPB Twyford will continue to operate as an "autonomous UK company" but with strong links to its parents, the biggest shareholder being Lochow-Petkus with a 74% stake. Current L-P varieties in the UK will continue to be sold by agent Perryfields Seeds, but all new varieties from that source will be marketed via CPB Twyford.

Hybrid rye is L-Ps forté. It has six breeding stations and claims over half the German rye seed market. It also has a 15% share of the winter and spring wheat sector.

Serasem, originator of early UK oilseed rapes Jet Neuf and Bienvenu, also bred the hybrid rape Synergy and Genesis winter wheat.

NPZ Lemke led the way in oilseeds with varieties like Rapol, Rapora and Cobra, adds Mr Spreadbury. It is expected to have one of the first double-low "fully restored" hybrids in Joker.

Direct access to biotechnology should prove another benefit, he says. &#42