Seed breeders DSV and Openfield are launching a joint initiative to provide oilseed rape growers with 20% more seed in 2020 without having to pay extra for it.
The initiative will be based around DSV’s new RL listed triple-layered variety Darling and is designed to allow growers to drill at higher rates to help counteract the threat of flea beetle, says DSV’s Sarah Hawthorne.
“Bags of Darling sold through Openfield will contain 1.8 million seeds compared to the standard bag size of 1.5 million seeds. The idea being that growers can then afford to drill at a slightly higher seed rate to compensate for any losses to flea beetle during establishment. We would typically advise growers to grow Darling at 50 seeds/m2. Being a high vigour hybrid variety, it does not need high seed rates to give good establishment and its strong compensatory growth allows it to grow through most pest and disease threats. But in the present circumstances with many producers experiencing plant losses to flea beetle following the ban on Neonicotinoid seed dressings, we feel there is a strong case for increasing this to 60 seeds/m2.”
Lee Bennett, Head of Seed for Openfield, says the joint initiative is a great opportunity for growers to mitigate some of the risks associated with OSR currently.
“We know growing oilseed rape is not without its problems now and establishment is one of the most critical times for growers. Providing producers with 20% more seed gives them flexibility with regard to optimising seed rates for their own individual growing conditions. We picked DSV Darling because we believe it has the ideal combination of key characteristics to give the widest range of growers the best chance of success not only in the establishment phase, but throughout the growing season.”
Joining the 2020/21 AHDB Recommended List last November, Darling is a triple layer combining high gross outputs with Turnip Yellow Virus (TuYV), RLM7+ phoma stem canker and pod shatter resistances to deliver simple maintenance and low growing costs, he says.
“Darling has been developed in response to the demands faced by growers in particular the need for lower cost management and to address the impact of reduced agrochemical availability in the future. It’s a variety designed to deliver sustained early vigour in the field whilst exhibiting a range of features that gives it real resilience from canopy development through to harvest.”
With an 8 for phoma stem canker and 6 for light leaf spot resistances alongside its TuYV resistance, Darling has a gross output 103% and an oil content of 46.0% in the RL.
“It’s a fantastic variety on many fronts and the ideal choice for this offer, providing growers with one of the best opportunities to establish a strong oilseed rape crop in the current challenging conditions,” Lee Bennett concludes.
Growers wishing to find out more should contact Openfied by calling 01476 862702, emailing [email protected], visiting www.openfield.co.uk/members/seed or by talking to their existing Openfield contact.