Rapeseed variety selection for the autumn sowing

Again in 2014 we will see new additions to the portfolio of winter rape. The following gives an overview of the most interesting recent EU authorisations (EU/BSA authorisation).

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The Arabella variety distinguishes itself through its high yield of grain and oil. A carrier of the so-called "RLM 7" gene, it offers a significant level of resistance to fungal diseases never before seen in the line segment. Early to middle sowing dates should be selected for the seed. It is suitable for all growing regions.

An extremely robust hybrid that should be seen in all growing regions, including at difficult cultivation sites, is Mercedes. In terms of oil yield, Mercedes achieves the highest rating of 9, making it the strongest new admission in this area for 2014. Strong autumn growth, coupled with good winter hardiness in the year it underwent testing, led it to deliver extremely positive hibernation results. This variety is also characterised by good stability and exceptionally even maturation.

The Flyer and Sy Vesuvio varieties have also been admitted by the BSA. Both hybrids were given a positive rating of 8 for their grain and oil yield. These varieties are quick to grow before winter, offer good resistance and have a high capacity to regenerate. For these reasons, they are recommended for middle to late sowing dates on medium and heavy soils. An advantage for tight rapeseed crop rotations is the comparatively low susceptibility of the Sy Vesuvio variety to verticilium.

The portfolio is supplemented from the EU rapeseed segment by the Marathon variety. Due to its properties it has been described as a shorter, more robust and more stable variety that is almost unbeatable in terms of grain yield. Its oil yield and oil content match that of the Sherpa. Marathon is characterised by even maturation and a widespread suitability for cultivation.

The Sherpa, Avatar, Atenzo and DX Exstorm varieties performed extremely well last year. All four hybrids demonstrated their capacities both in practice and at the many rapeseed testing sites, and were subsequently recommended for cultivation without reservations for the 2014 sowing season.

With a relative 112 in the year 2013, Atenzo is top of the rankings at the AGRAVIS site in Bielefeld. Robust in character, it is suitable for all rapeseed growing regions (rapid autumn growth, high post-winter compensating capacity, high pod strength and resistance to fungal diseases). Its somewhat longer growth height is coupled with a high level of stability.

DK Exstorm is mainly characterised by exceptionally high yield stability. In two years of testing, the variety achieved very high and more importantly even grain yields at AGRAVIS testing sites. This yield spread is assured by a high level of resistance to fungal diseases (RLM 7) and a high pod strength. Its stability is classed as good to average. It grows quickly in the autumn. It matures in the early to middle months of the year.

The Sherpa and Avatar varieties are particularly distinguished by a comparatively early and very even maturation. Avatar proves its special strengths in the better regions and favours conventional sowing. Sherpa is more of an all-rounder here, similar to its predecessor – the Visby. In terms of grain yield the two are rated high to very high, with the Avatar producing better results with regards oil yield and oil content. Both varieties grow quickly in autumn and spring and are characterised by a high level of stability.

Individual, site-specific factors continue to provide the basis for a qualified choice of variety. The portfolio should ideally be made up of proven top varieties and newer, more promising genes. This combination ensures a maximum level of yield security without having to give up the progress achieved through breeding.

Find out more about choosing varieties from Michael Kleimann, Tel. 0172 . 2732889 or by emailing michael.kleimann@agravis.de.

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