New oilseed rape variety is the first to top both the East/West and Northern regions of the HGCA Recommended List
New oilseed rape variety Incentive 45 named in reference to its exceptional hybrid vigour in the first 45 days is the first variety to top both the East/West and Northern regions of the HGCA Recommended List. With producers across the UK now growing the variety for the first time, early reports suggest it is more than living up to its promise of exceptional early vigour and ability to shrug off pest and disease threat in a variety of situations. Nearly half of Lincolnshire producer Andrew Pearces oilseed rape acreage is now composed of Incentive following two difficult seasons struggling with various establishment and lodging issues with other varieties. We wanted to try a different approach and were looksafing around at all the trials plots at Cereals but to be honest virtually everything looked the same apart from Incentive. Nothing else stood out, Andrew explains. Even before wed read a word about it or talked to anybody, we knew it was different and once wed learned of its outright yield, establishment vigour and all-round performance, we virtually ordered it on the spot. Once drilled, the varietys signature early vigour became immediately apparent compared with the other oilseed rape crops at Andrews Stowgate Farm, near Deeping St James in Lincolnshire. From the word go Incentive looked bigger and stronger than the other varieties we have grown. Its very noticeable. We lost around a third of our oilseed rape last year in the establishment period so a strong plant that keeps on growing regardless of conditions has great appeal to us. In previous years, difficult weather has also caused problems with lodging so a complete package of disease resistance, standing power and yield stability is very much at the fore of our decision making. Incentive 45s all-round performance and ability to establish quickly are also what attracted East Yorkshire producer Jon Sharp to the variety. And with rapid growth outrunning the slugs at his 1,000ha (2,470 acre) arable enterprise at Hall Garth Farm near Beverley in East Yorkshire last autumn, his early assessment of its potential benefits are being more than borne out.
We drilled Incentive and two other varieties at the end of August into a very dry seedbed which we had to leave fairly rough far from ideal conditions and a good test of establishment vigour, Jon says. While all three seemed to germinate around the same time, it was Incentives noticeably faster growth in the following weeks that really marked it out. The variety just kept going and where the others seemed to run out of steam and started getting attacked by slugs as a result, Incentive just seemed to grow through it all, he explains. We ended up using slug pellets on our other crops but Incentive didnt need them, he adds. As well as the early, sustained vigour, Jon says its the combination of stable yield, high oil content and disease resistance that appeals. To my mind there are no weaknesses. Its good standing power and early maturity are bonuses, too.
All the trials data we have seen show Incentive doing well across a number of years and varying conditions, so we have very high expectations of its consistency and performance. According to oilseeds and pulses manager for NIAB, Simon Kightley (left), Incentive is a significant step forward in terms of performance and versatility over the main oilseed rape varieties that have been at the top of the HGCA lists for the past few years.
Not only does Incentive have the highest gross output on the back of very high oil content, it has strong agronomic properties including good lodging resistance and stem stiffness at maturity, he suggests. Its not too tall for a hybrid either and its early flowering means it has the necessary get up and go in the spring to grow through pest attack. I am really encouraged to see it at the top of both Northern and East/West Recommended Lists as this means it has great UK adaptability and will be able to perform strongly in a variety of growing conditions across the UK. This was very evident in last years harvest results, he concludes.