2014-05-23   facebook twitter rss

Grower Days Highlight the Best High Erucic OSR Varieties

Technology Crops International offered farmers the opportunity to evaluate the exciting potential of High Erucic Acid Rapeseed (HEAR) at a series of open days throughout England and Scotland in May.

Held on five ‘lighthouse’ farms in Berwickshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire and Suffolk, the events provided existing and prospective growers with an opportunity to see HEAR crops growing under commercial conditions and select the best varieties for drilling later this year. Each host farm is currently growing one-hectare blocks of several new varieties which were evaluated as part of TCI’s own replicated trials programme last season, enabling the company’s contracted HEAR growers to benefit from its unique agronomic knowledge and secure a significant commercial advantage.

Palmedor High Erucic Acid Rapeseed

Palmedor High Erucic Acid Rapeseed

“High Erucic Acid Rapeseed offers farmers an excellent cropping option which makes sound commercial sense at a time when markets for non-contracted agricultural crops are experiencing high levels of price volatility and financial returns to growers are becoming increasingly unpredictable. The latest HEAR varieties are very high yielding, provide substantial premiums over conventional ‘00’ varieties, generate up to £150/ha greater return for no additional input and provide a secure, contracted outlet.”

Prices for conventional ‘00’ crops are notoriously volatile and have varied by as much as 40% during the last two years, while marketing can be time consuming and unpredictable. TCI’s HEAR contract offers what the company believes is the highest financial return available for winter oilseed rape, enabling growers to capture a much greater value for their crop. In addition to conventional spot market sales, the company also offers growers the opportunity to participate in various pool marketing options.

TCI’s new HEAR pool contract offers a 20% premium over ‘00’, probably the highest value available for winter oilseed rape, together with additional quality premiums worth up to 12% of the base price, generating up to £136/ha more than standard ‘00’ varieties. The contract also provides growers with harvest movement which frees up valuable storage space, together with regular monthly payments from September until June, giving a reliable, regular cash flow.

Growers who choose not to participate in the HEAR pool have an alternative option in the form of a 50/50 contract, which allows them to fix a price for 50% of the crop whenever it reaches a level which they find attractive, at any time between signing the contract and October 2014. The remaining 50% is priced at the time of movement. To the base price TCI adds a further 15% bonus, plus FOSFA premiums for oil, admixture and moisture, which at current market prices could add up to a typical overall return of £330/t. Unlike some other contracts, the TCI contract has no maximum price ceiling, which means that growers benefit should prices rise. Growers on the 50:50 contract can elect to have the crop moved off the farm during any one of four periods: July-September, October-December, January-March and April-June.

Varieties on display included, PH106, a very high yielding hybrid from France, which gave a gross output equal to PR46W21 in the Technology Crops trials network last year, together with Palmedor, one of the key varieties which TCI is offering for 2014 sowing. Palmedor offers robust agronomic characteristics, including excellent stem strength and standing power, good disease resistance and strong early vigour. Suitable for growing in most areas, it delivers excellent performance across a range of conditions and has the potential to outperform popular ‘00’ varieties, yet delivers high oil and erucic acid contents, helping to generate high overall returns.


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