Speciality oil variety tops oilseed rape list

While the launch of the current oilseed rape lists was dominated by a speciality oil variety, a mix of hybrids and conventional types make up the five varieties to look out for next season.

There’s no shortage of first rate winter oilseed rape varieties for growers to choose from, says Simon Kightley of Niab Tag.

See also: Two farmers argue hybrid versus conventional OSR

“The top dozen or so names on the East/West and North lists are more than adequate. But there are a few that are worth a closer look.

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1. Harnas

Its position in joint second place on the East/West list and top spot in the North shows newly recommended hybrid SY Harnas is a well-adapted UK variety, says Mr Kightley.

UK-wide appeal and superior disease resistance puts it ahead of Popular, he believes, despite Popular’s higher oil content.

“They both have a gross output of 107% and good resistance to lodging, but Harnas has a 7 for light leaf spot and a 6 for stem canker. That’s good news for growers.

2. Campus

The new conventional variety Campus will also have UK-wide appeal. A gross output of just 1% behind the best hybrids in the East/West region, and the highest of the conventional varieties in the North, shows its suitability.

“The competition between hybrids and the latest open-pollinated lines is still very much on,” he says.
Mr Kightley selects it over the other new conventional variety, Picto, for its better disease resistance. “It is good to see that some of the disease resistance scores in the new varieties have gone up.

3. Incentive

An extra year of evidence gives Mr Kightley confidence in Incentive’s UK credentials.

“It too has given a good performance in both regions,” he says. “Incentive isn’t too tall for a hybrid and has really good standing ability.”

However, it’s not great for stem canker, with a rating of 4, he warns.

4 Charger

An insurance variety for wet years is how Mr Kightley describes the conventional variety Charger.

“It’s nice and short, with really good stem stiffness,” he says. “It is this standing ability and ease of management that make it a priority choice variety.”

Very early flowering and medium maturity are other attributes, he adds. “But it has 4s for both light leaf spot and stem canker.”

5. V316OL

A hybrid variety for the premium Holl (high-oleic, low-linolenic market) variety V316OL burst on to the scene last summer, topping the RL rankings and performing very well in most trials.

“It always looked promising as a candidate,” he says. “Now it sits at the head of the East/West region list with a gross output of 109% and second equal on the North list with 111% of controls.”

Premiums will be paid for the new variety, due to the food industry demand for its different oil profile, he adds. “It is a developing market that needs more supply.”

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