6 November 1998

DL chance for linseed

TWO spring linseed varieties, dropped from NIAB trials after poor performances in 1995 and 1996 but reinstated this season, are up for consideration for the 1999 Descriptive List.

Laser and Linus, from breeder John Turner, were omitted from 1997 trials after giving relatively low yields in the two previous seasons. "We felt we werent able to justify using more HGCA resources testing them," explains oilseeds specialist Simon Kightley.

But after some Canadian type varieties, including Windermere, Flechette and Flanders, responded particularly well in the wet conditions of 1997 it was decided to re-test Laser and Linus. "So although they have not given top results this season they will be offered for DL status this autumn."

Linus was top for yield and Laser joint second with Flanders in trials at the Arable Research Centres Cirencester site this year where yields were between 1.82t/ha (14.7cwt/acre) and 1.07t/ha (8.7cwt/acre).

Provisional figures from NIAB show Laser and Linus outyielding the control mean of 1.8t/ha (14.6cwt/acre) by 9% and 8%, respectively. But conventional type Oscar and Windermere from Nickerson have done so by 25 and 20%, says Mr Kightley. &#42