Hybrid newcomer takes top spot on both OSR variety lists

The HGCA oilseed rape Recommended Lists see four new additions, with one hybrid claiming the top spot on both lists.

Simon Oxley of HGCA says the four new additions are all high yielding with good agronomic characteristics including stiff stems, although some will need to be managed for disease.

“The top two on the East/West region list, Incentive and Charger, both have 4s for stem canker,” he says. “If that’s a concern, another of the newcomers, Harper, has a 9 for stem canker, with only a very slightly lower yield.”

Sitting just ahead of Harper for gross output is Trinity, which has a 6 for stem canker, he says.

For NIAB TAG’s Simon Kightley, the newcomers should be compared with the current market leaders when they are being considered. “In the East/West region, that means the hybrid PR46W21 and the conventional DK Cabernet, both of which have proved themselves.

“Remember this is the first year on the Recommended List for these new varieties. We can expect to see their rankings adjust over the next year or two,” he advises.

DSV’s new hybrid, Incentive, has achieved the double, topping both the East/West and the North regional lists for gross output, he says. “At 105% on the East/West list, it is 2% above PR46W21, so it is a step on.

“It’s a medium-height hybrid, with a very high oil content and relatively early flowering and maturity,” he says. “It has good lodging resistance, moderately good stem stiffness and resistance to light leaf spot, but it is susceptible to stem canker.”

In the North, Incentive puts a hybrid back at the top of the list with a gross output of 107%, just 1% ahead of the conventional Anastasia, Mr Kightley reports. “It’s showing UK adaptability, which makes it very promising.”

David Waite of Frontier Agriculture is also enthusiastic about Incentive. “It’s the top-yielding variety on both the North and East/West lists, which is the first time we’ve seen that happen for quite some time. It really does look to be an improvement.”

Russell Frost of Nidera highlights the versatility of Incentive and describes it as a step forward in oilseed rape performance. “Taking top spot in both regions is a real coup. It’s a variety that will be in demand next year.”

However, KWS’s new conventional variety, Charger, also joins the East/West region with a gross output of 105%, putting it 3% above DK Cabernet, says Mr Kightley.

“This is good news for fans of conventional types. It’s a short, very stiff-strawed variety with very early flowering and early maturity, and we know how much growers tend to like compact, stiff varieties.”

Careful fungicide management will be required, he cautions, as it has a 4 rating for both light leaf spot and stem canker.

David Waite of Frontier Agriculture sees Charger as having a place in the South. “There’s no doubt growers will like it. But in the North, they tend to go for hybrids.”

Another new conventional variety, Trinity from Elsoms, joins the East/West list with a gross output of 104%, after a very strong performance in 2013 which saw it come out as the best of all the candidate and recommended varieties.

“Trinity is of medium height, with an 8 for stem stiffness,” says Mr Kightley. “It is medium for flowering and early for maturity, with moderately good disease resistance.”

Frontier has already sold a fair amount of Trinity, says Mr Waite. “It’s a useful variety which is easy to grow. The 2013 on-farm experience was very good indeed.”

Russell Frost notes that both Charger and Trinity are in the running. “They’re very close on yield, but have lower light leaf spot resistance scores. However, they show development in the crop continues at pace.”

Harper, the first hybrid variety from Bayer CropScience to be recommended, joins the East/West regional list with a gross output of 103%.

“It’s just behind the very best new ones, but it comes onto the list with equal performance to PR46W21,” says Mr Kightley. “However, it also brings a 9 for stem canker resistance, which is really good news.”

Otherwise, Harper is early for flowering and maturity and has a moderately stiff stem, he says.

For Mr Waite, Harper is going to sit in the middle of a pack of very good varieties. “It’s good to see its stem canker resistance, but that doesn’t make it unique. It will all depend on how many varieties people want to grow.”

Barry Barker of Agrii describes Harper as a solid hybrid. “It was very interesting to observe that it demonstrated the best spring vigour in our plots this year. And it is earlier to mature than the other newcomers.”

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HGCA Recommended Lists 2014-15

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