Pods Look Promising for Oilseed Rape

Oilseed rape crops have now entered the critical podding stage - and two new varieties are looking particularly impressive this year.

Elevation and Broadway, bred by the UK’s only independent oilseed rape breeder Mike Pickford, are both standing out for their large pods, which is a good indicator of high yields. “We have been travelling around different trials sites across the country, and both Elevation and Broadway are looking extremely promising,” explains Clive Sutton, business development manager at DLF Seeds. “It hasn’t been the easiest growing season, but the weather during the flowering period was favourable, so the potential for high seed numbers is there.”

Mike Pickford

Mike Pickford

High seed and pod numbers are directly linked to yield, and Mr Pickford selected both varieties for their impressive yield performance, alongside good vigour and disease resistance. “Whereas most conventional varieties only average 20-30 seeds per pod, Elevation averages 30+ seeds with a heavier thousand seed weight of 5.5-6g,” he says. “I want to breed what the farmer wants; and you have to start off with good genetics – agronomy is the extra tool to realise that potential.”

Elevation has shown good disease resistance in trials. “It has done exceptionally well in untreated trials, which is incredibly important – we are confident that it will become a market-leading choice for oilseed rape growers,” says Mr Sutton.

Both Broadway and Elevation are new to the Northern AHDB Recommended List 2018, and perform equally well further south. Elevation was the highest yielding variety across all regions in 2017 and at the top of the Northern list this year with a gross output of 107.4%. Broadway was the highest yielding variety in the North in 2016 and scored a gross output of 106.7% this year.

“Growers should base their autumn seed choices on robust, over-year trial results, and the consistency of both Elevation and Broadway is impressive,” says Mr Sutton. “This year’s crops are looking good in the field, so given benign weather during the pod-fill period it should be another bountiful harvest.”


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