Four oilseed rape varieties shine in contrasting seasons

Four oilseed rape varieties have been showing up as consistent top performers during the past three very different seasons, according to one major seed supplier.

Extrovert, Trinity, Popular and speciality variety V316OL were chosen as the most reliable in terms of yield across a number of English trial sites, says farmer-owned co-operative Openfield.

“These four varieties have been consistently good performers across three different seasons,” says the group’s national seeds and technical manager Lee Bennett (pictured).

He says the anticipated outstanding yields this summer did not materialise, largely because of variety choice and a growing season that saw a wet winter and an early spring, prompting the crop to start growing before farmers had the opportunity to apply fertiliser.

Mr Bennett adds that across more than eight trial sites and 30 varieties, the most dependable variety was Extrovert during the wet harvest of 2012, the late-maturing 2013 season and the early 2014 season. This year, the variety showed a gross output of 4.8-5.8t/ha.

Of the other varieties, Trinity and Popular both produced consistent performances. The former was a new addition to the HGCA 2014-15 East/West Recommended List, while the latter is a candidate for the 2015-16 list.

The fourth variety, V316OL, is a high-oleic, low-linoleic (HOLL) variety and it is also a candidate for the 2015-16 Recommended List.

Mr Bennett says the yield penalties once associated with HOLL varieties are clearly in the past, as the variety showed a gross output ranging from 4.5-5.9t/ha.

See also: British oilseed rape variety can beat the hybrids