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Stackyard News Mar 07

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New National OSR Champion Pledges Sustained Improvement Support 02/03/07

Oilseed rape growers across the UK have a new champion in their efforts to take the greatest possible advantage of the huge opportunities offered by perhaps the most exciting crop at their disposal.

oil seed rape

This was the pledge made by Monsanto UK commercial lead, Geoff Hall launching DEKALB as the country’s leading provider of improved varieties and market development information this week (Friday March 2).

From the outset Monsanto’s newly-branded European oilseeds breeding programme offers UK growers an unparalleled portfolio of improvement opportunities. This includes the country’s single most
popular variety, Castille; the market-leading hybrid, Excalibur; the top stem canker resistant variety, Excel; the high erucic acid (HEAR) leader, Hearty; and the unique high oleic, low linolenic (HO,LL) range of speciality winter oilseed rapes, Vistive.

“As the pioneering programme responsible for both low biomass and next generation hybrid oilseed rapes, DEKALB’s commitment to UK crop improvement is second to none,” Geoff Hall stressed. “And our pipeline continues to stand out as the single most impressive in the business, with more than 20 varieties currently in UK national and recommended list trials.

“By developing and testing DEKALB varieties widely across the full range of European climates, we ensure the greatest possible consistency of performance at the highest level, regardless of conditions,” he added. “We see this as particularly crucial if growers are to achieve sustained crop performance improvements despite the challenges of rapidly increasing OSR growing intensity across the country.”

In introducing the DEKALB name – respected across the world for its leadership in corn, soya, oilseeds and cotton breeding – to the UK, Monsanto is underlining the strength of its commitment to sustained national oilseed rape improvement at a time of unparalleled opportunity for the crop.

As well as the country’s leading provider of improved varieties, DEKALB is setting out to be a key source of up-to-the-minute oilseeds development and market information for the industry and a vital partner to seed and agronomy advisers in helping growers maximise crop output and value.

“Oilseed rape is about the healthiest oil available for the food industry as well as a prime raw material for the blossoming biodiesel market,” pointed out Geoff Hall. “By understanding the changing demands of these attractive markets and the new opportunities they present, we and our industry partners will provide growers with both the varieties and support they need to make the very most of them.

“Advanced ‘double low’, HEAR and HO,LL varieties are just the start. Our development programme includes a variety of improved oil profiles for functional foods and industrial applications. I have no doubt that oilseed rape is the single most exciting crop currently available to the agricultural industry. We will be playing a leading role in turning its huge potential into practical benefits for UK growers.”

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