Game-changing OSR varieties punch well above their weight – CPM – Neil Watson
“If you only grow one variety of oilseed rape this year, pick one with TuYV resistance,” recommends Hutchinsons technical support manager Neil Watson ...
“And if you’re growing more than one, you should include the trait across at least some of your area.”
He recalls the research carried out over a decade ago by Mark Stevens at Brooms Barn, which showed up to 30% yield penalty where levels of the virus were found to be high and where infection occurred early in the crop’s life . “At that time, TuYV was found only in one or two hotspots and levels varied considerably year-on-year, so it often didn’t manifest itself in a yield penalty at all,” notes Neil.
But even then, he felt sure the virus was going to become significant. “Two factors have been game-changers. Firstly, it’s become far more difficult to control the early infection without neonicotinoid seed dressings.
Neil Watson, Technical support manager
Getting the timing right for sprays is exceptionally difficult, and that’s a recipe for the virus to spread.”
The second factor has been the relative rise in performance of varieties with TuYV resistance. “I’ve been tracking the trials performance of these varieties over the past few years, especially across sites in the South and South West,” he says. “Increasingly they have been punching well above their weight.”
He notes that TuYV tends only to hit a crop that’s stressed. “Where you’ve succeeded in maintaining crop momentum, especially at the end of the season, the effects of the virus won’t be nearly as devastating. But you cannot control the weather which will have the greatest impact, so it makes sense to give yourself the protection of a TuYV-resistant variety.”
His favoured hybrid is Aurelia. “It’s one of the highest for gross output on the RL, with disease scores of 8 for both phoma and LLS. For growers looking to get a step ahead, RL candidate LG Aviron looks very promising, which builds in pod shatter resistance,” he notes.