14 March 1996

Lower inputs for hybrid OSR?

LOWER crop protection inputs which would cut production costs and enhance farmings green image are forecast for restored hybrid oilseed rape varieties.

"We have started trials to assess the crop protection inputs needed by a range of hybrids. The hope is that the vigour of the hybrids may lead to a greater ability to cope with stress and, consequently, a reduced need for inputs," Dr Elaine Booth from the Scottish Agricultural College told the Scottish oilseeds conference.

"The introduction of restored hybrids to the commercial scene looks set to continue, offering yield advantages without the pollination concerns of composite hybrids," said Dr Booth.

The new restored winter hybrids Artus and Pronto had given yields similar to the composite Synergy and well ahead of conventional varieties.

The spring hybrid, Superol, had given extremely high yields in variety trials relevant to Scotland – 112% of the control, she added. &#42