A special guide to help oilseed rape growers across the UKharness the latest genetic advances to meet the crops major economic andenvironmental challenges was published at this years LAMMA show by leading OSRbreeder, DEKALB.
The 20-page Blue Book focuses on the key challenges facing UK oilseed rapegrowing today, exploring how best to take advantage of the particularattributes of modern hybrid yield-protecting and agronomic traits to addressthem in commercial practice through better -informed variety selection andvariety-specific management.
It examines, in turn:
*the best choice of hybrid type fordifferent circumstances;
*hybrid sowing rates and criticalfactors for successful establishment;
*extra early management savingsthrough robust hybrid disease resistance;
*spring management and fertilisationfor optimum hybrid canopies;
*the value of hybrid pod shatterresistance and low biomass hybrid harvestability; and,
*opportunities from High Oleic, LowLinolenic (HOLL) hybrid production.
Launchingthe guide as part of a new identity and focus for DEKALB at a special LAMMAbriefing, OSR project lead, Kuldip Mudhar outlined the huge progress UK oilseedrape breeding has made in the past 15 years, in particular.
At the same time, though, he pointed out that growers currently face greaterchallenges that at almost any time in the crops history not least, achievinggreater consistency despite growing climatic uncertainty; countering increasingdisease risks and decreasing fungicide sensitivity; coping with an escalatingloss of crop protection chemistry; and minimising vulnerability to marketvolatility by keeping the lid on growing costs.
Thesechallenges make it vital for OSR producers to make the very most of all theoutput-maximising and input-minimising opportunities advanced hybrid geneticsoffer, he stressed.
On the one hand, for instance, we know that every extra 0.5t/ha of yield cutstypical growing costs by 10-15/tonne while every 1% above 40% oil gives abonus of 1.5 % of the seed price and HOLL oil delivers flat rate premiums of20-35/t.
Equally, on the other, we know that even with a full fungicide regime theyield penalty from poor phoma stem canker resistance can be 10-15%; betterestablishment and faster leaf development can reduce spring nitrogen need by 50kg/ha; and pod shatter resistant varieties can lose up to 50% less yield thansusceptible ones in the run-up to and at harvest.
Ourbreeding programme has been highly successful in building a range of valuableyield-protecting and agronomic traits into modern hybrid OSR to make the mostof these and other performance-improving opportunities, explained UK marketinglead, Deryn Gilbey. And we are now complementing this with the best possibleguidance on how to utilise these traits to greatest effect in commercialpractice.
The BlueBook adds to our extensive UK programme of field scale variety trialling inparallel to traditional small plot work, our 3×3 Initiative with BASF and Yara,and up-to-the-minute information on crop condition and management through theOSR Growers Club and our developing new DEKALB website.
This is all part of our commitment to being UK oilseed rape growers mostreliable partner in driving performance through innovation firmly focused onfarm success.