29 November 1996

First for fully restored OSR

FULLY restored hybrid rapes figure for the first time in the 1997 UK Recommended Lists for oilseeds.

Artus and Pronto, both from CPB Twyford, will undoubtedly attract growers because of their high yield potential, says NIABs Simon Kightley.

Six conventional varieties added to the list, with yield ratings of 107 to 104, all outperform previous top yielder Capitol (103). "And you have to go quite a long way down to find Apex on 100," says Mr Kightley.

With yield very much the current economic driving force, the two hybrid newcomers ratings of 114 and 113, respectively (against Synergys 113), are bound to appeal, he believes. "It is up to the trade to come up with a seed price that will complete the formula." A key point is that, unlike the composite hybrid Synergy, Artus and Pronto are both fully self-fertile in the field. That should help allay fears of poor pollination, he explains.

"If anything Pronto is stiffer and slightly earlier. So of the two that is the one to do best in this country." But with limited experience it may be too early to draw firm conclusions. NIABs main hybrid trials to date have been sown at conventional seed rates, rather than at the lower levels commercially advised.

Herald from Danisco and Licrown from Perryfields lead the conventional race, each with output ratings of 107. Herald is rather more resistant to lodging, being slightly stiffer and shorter. But Licrown has a higher oil content and better resistance to stem canker, being joint top-rated (with Express) on 7. "That is really quite good," says Mr Kightley.

Lipton from Perryfields and Meteor, a first for Apex breeder Hilleshog under its own name, are close behind with yield ratings of 106. Although slightly the taller of the two, Lipton resists lodging rather better and has slightly higher oil content. It is also marginally better against light leaf spot.

Cargills newcomer Contact rates only 104 for yield but has plenty going for it, according to Mr Kightley. "For me it is the most immediately attractive." Its straw characters are the same as those of Apex, which so many growers seem to appreciate. But it is also slightly earlier, resists light leaf spot better and has a higher oil content, he explains.

Lightning, Perryfields third list addition, has the same yield potential as Contact but is rather late maturing. "Its 4 for earliness will work against it in the north," says Mr Kightley. But it does have good resistance against light leaf spot.

1997 is the year that high yielding fully restored hybrid rapes first join the UK Recommended List. Pronto may be the most suitable for the UK.


&#8226 Fully restored hybrids:

Artus, Pronto.

&#8226 Conventional varieties:

Contact, Herald, Licrown, Lightning, Lipton, Meteor.