17 May 1996

Growers like Linola

LINOLA, the edible linseed, is becoming increasingly popular with growers.

At about 1600ha (4000 acres) this years linola area is four times what it was in 1995, according to Mike Wenham of Nickerson Seeds. By comparison, the conventional crop has slipped an estimated 16% to about 45,000ha (111,000 acres). Even at a conservative estimate he predicts a tenfold increase in the linola area within three years.

Yields of the two types are similar. In 1995, its first year in the UK, average output of linola, all the Candian-bred variety Coniston, was 1.8t/ha (14.4cwt/acre) at 40.7% oil, reports Mr Wenham. Yield and oil content were depressed by the hot, dry season, but the 71% level of linoleic acid, claimed to make it one of the healthiest of all oils and fats, was maintained, he says.

lHerbicide choice for linseed (including linola) has been extended this season with the approval of Bromolin 225EC (bromoxynil) from Israeli agchem company Makhteshim, which recommends tank-mixing it with Basagran (bentazone).

Paul Jones, the firms UK technical manager, says Basagrans advantage is that it is very kind to the crop – especially useful in late seasons such as this when avoiding growth checks is important.

"Its good weed spectrum is nicely augmented by Bromolin, which controls fat hen, fumitory and the polygonums particularly well," he says. &#42