Looking ahead to OSR variety choice – South East Farmer – Neil Watson, David Bouch

There are three or four key areas to look for when choosing an OSR variety, according to Hutchinsons technical support manager Neil Watson. ...

“These are yield and oil percentage, disease resistance and standing power. There are obviously exceptions to this in specific areas such as where there are issues with clubroot or where Clearfield varieties can play a role in weed control for example.

“TuYV is an increasingly prevalent issue in the UK; annual monitoring of TuYV infection in the UK’s oilseed rape crop has shown that 84% of non-TuYV resistant crops were infected in early spring 2019 – the highest levels ever recorded. In light of this, TuYV resistant varieties recorded some of the highest yields, proving the value of the genetic trait.

“It is now possible to choose varieties with a stack of these traits – TuYV resistance, pod shatter resistance and RLM7 stem canker resitance – in order to protect top level yield. Robust disease resistance ratings are invaluable as these help to mitigate spray timings risk while also reducing our total reliance on chemistry.”

Neil Watson, Technical support manager

Standing power is important for a variety to be successful on farm, particularly on fertile or exposed sites, he added.

“Vigour is becoming increasingly valuable and talked about, as growers look for varieties that are able to get up and away in the autumn and are also quick off the blocks in the spring.”

David Bouch, Seed manager

On this basis, if you look at the top yielding varieties on the 2020/21 AHDB recommended list, it makes for an easy choice, adds David Bouch, Hutchinsons seed manager.

“Fully loaded hybrid LG Aurelia, which sits across both the east/west and northern lists, offers an extremely high gross output and a full complement of genetic traits. It also offers the most robust disease resistance ratings of any variety on the AHDB Recommended List with a rating of 8 for both stem canker and light leaf spot resistance.

Dazzler is also a good option, sitting on the east/west list with a similar set of traits. The candidate variety LG Aviron is a four trait variety, offering TuYV, pod shatter and RLM7 resistance and the new N-Flex trait, which allows the OSR plant to be more efficient in transforming N into yield.

“If looking for a conventional, Campus is still the most widely grown conventional OSR variety and is on the Recommended List as a control for both the north region and east/west region, demonstrating its consistency and suitability for the whole of the UK.”

It has high ratings for lodging resistance and stiffness, as well as a disease resistance rating of 6 against light leaf spot. The variety is known as the ‘seed with speed’, establishing quickly in the autumn, and has more vigour than many hybrid varieties.

Acacia is the highest gross output conventional variety for the east/west and north regions, with a gross output of 109.5% and 107.6%, respectively. The variety is very vigorous in both the autumn and spring, combined with good disease resistance and short and stiff straw. Acacia is suited to the main OSR drilling window but is also useful in a late sown slot.

“Where looking for a Clearfield option, CL Phoenix shows excellent autumn vigour with a good seed yield and a good disease resistance profile.”

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