When Cornish farmer Ashley Jones, of Smeaton Farm, harvested his 4.5ha field of oilseed rape hybrid LG Ambassador on the 22nd July, it yielded a very pleasing 4.07t/ha. A second crop of the conventional Aspire also performed well at 3.58t/ha.
“These are the highest oilseed rape yields we have ever achieved, and that’s taking into account some bare headland areas,” he says.
Having dropped oilseed rape from the rotation at the AHDB Monitor Farm seven years ago as it was underperforming, Mr Jones is thrilled with these harvest results – particularly as the LG Ambassador will go forward into the YEN Oilseed competition this year.
LG Ambassador is the highest gross output hybrid variety on the current recommended list. The variety shows exceptional autumn and spring vigour and has a very good disease resistance profile. It is also the first four-trait hybrid variety on the market.
Aspire, meanwhile, is a very high yielding conventional variety and is the only AHDB-recommended conventional with TuYV resistance. A very robust plant type with short stiff stems.
“The LG Ambassador was drilled slightly later on the 6th September 2019, and we were very lucky with the crop in the autumn as we didn’t have any CSFB infestation, so it got up and away, and the crops stayed clean season-long. Both varieties have TuYV (Turnip Yellows Virus) resistance and without a doubt this held yields up.”
Mr Jones believes that in dropping the plough and harrow system he used previously, for min-till into stubble, the rape crops do not come through as lush and thick, and that by having fewer plants and a thinner crop that has more space and light, yields have improved.
He will be growing both varieties again next year and has already put in his seed order via his Nickerson Seeds rep, Simon House.