Winter oilseed rape crops in the north east which have received a managed input programme have achieved an above average harvest despite one of the worst ever growing seasons, according to results from the NK Performance Evaluation Network (PEN) trials, grown in partnership with Grainfarmers/UAP and based at NIAB's Cockle Park, Morpeth.
Hybrid varieties, including the new candidate NKMusket, Toccata and Royal were among the yield leaders, coming off the field at 4.39t/ha, 4.38t/ha and 4.28t/ha respectively.
Furthermore, the new conventionals fulfilled their promise demonstrating very similar yields with NKVictory averaging 4.34t/ha, NKBravour at 4.25t/ha and Fortis, the northern favourite, coming off the field at an average 4.16t/ha. All of them out yielded Winner at 4.06t/ha, the conventional that was waiting to be beaten.
“2004/05 has been a very harsh year as far as conditions are concerned,” comments NK's Nigel Padbury. “The PEN trial crop was sown in late August in particularly wet conditions and since, it has received more than 800mm rainfall, compared with 600mm long term average for the site. Then the crop was hit by exceptional cold weather in late March. However, the plants appeared to compensate with an extended flowering period, and overall yields are quite respectable .”
The results to date are the seed yield at harvest and major agronomic characteristics, oil content analysis and gross output figures will follow soon.
The PEN trial at Cockle Park is one of seven featured in NK's new long term initiative. Located in major oilseed rape growing areas located throughout Britain. Each PEN trial site features 20 winter oilseed rape varieties; a mix of HGCA Recommended List 2005/06 varieties, National List Year II and Recommended List candidates.
PEN has been structured to enable growers for the first time to make a direct local and national comparison of the performance of National List Year II candidate varieties with existing commercial varieties - those on the current HGCA Recommended List.
The initiative will extend the information available to growers beyond the HGCA Recommended List trial sites.
For further information on the NK PEN trials and results from all of the sites in the network can be found on the NK website www.oilseedrape.com
Further information on the NK PEN trials and results from all of the sites in the network can be found on the NK website www.oilseedrape.com