8 December 1995

Hybrid rape results caution

HYBRID oilseed rapes may struggle to match trial results when grown in the field, warned Scottish Agricultural College oilseeds specialist Dr Kerr Walker.

Newly added to the NIAB and SAC recommended list, Synergy is a high yielding composite hybrid. "In all our trials it has given 20% higher yields than the average of control varieties," Dr Walker told the conference. But that was achieved on trial plots where there was plenty of pollen about from neighbouring trials, he said.

"It is a hybrid which produces 80% male sterile plants, so all the pollination will be down to the other 20%.We must wait and see how it works at farm level, although our three field trials this year performed very well."