Genetic resistance to pod shatter built into the latest high performance hybrid oilseed rape varieties has been shown to dramatically cut seed losses where combining has to be delayed for as little as five to six days after crop maturity.
A study reported at the recent 13th International Rapeseed Congress in Prague, reveals seed losses from delayed harvesting of little more than 10kg/ha in Excalibur, DK ExPower and other Dekalb hybrids against between 60 and 120 kg/ha for comparable hybrids without the programme’s in-built shatter resistance (Figure).
“Independent research has confirmed that the natural resistance our breeding programme has successfully incorporated into all our next generation hybrids makes pods around twice as resistant to shattering as many currently Recommended varieties,” explains Dekalb OSR breeder, Matthew Clarke.
“This is equivalent to successfully withstanding a heavy shower of rain or strong gust of wind compared to the light shower or gust that would otherwise cause pods to shatter as they approach maturity.
“As such, it gives growers far more leeway to cope with uneven ripening, inclement weather immediately prior to harvesting and weather or workload-related combining delays, as well as a hugely valuable edge in maximising yields while improving the speed of OSR combining,” he points out. “Lower seed losses, of course, also mean the fewest possible volunteer problems.
“Alongside exceptional establishment and spring vigour and manageable height, pod shatter resistance is another character we have been concentrating on in our breeding efforts to deliver varieties UK growers can rely upon to deliver the most consistently reliable performance under today’s increasingly uncertain weather conditions.”
Figure: Harvesting grain losses from different OSR varieties
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