Autumn sowing 2016: Breeding progress confirmed in practice

Alongside the top rape varieties from proven rape cultivation rape cultivation in previous years, four new hybrids have emerged to provide greater variety. AGRAVIS provides valuable tips for autumn sowing in 2016.

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The Bender hybrid is the variant which was approved by the Federal Plant Variety Office (Bundessortenamt) with the highest yield characteristics. In the grain yield, oil yield, and oil content categories it received the highest mark of 9, just like Avatar did in 2011. It demonstrated in three VCU tests under various site and weather conditions that it is relatively tolerant and that it can be cultivated on any site where rape is grown. Bender develops quickly in autumn, therefore making it suitable for late or mulch sowing. Good health with regard to fungi is ensured due to polygenic fungal resistance. Despite average plant length, it achieves good to very good stability. Ripening into straw is somewhat later compared to the reference varieties. Amongst other things, this later ripening also provides the option of ensuring high oil content. In the three VCU tests, Bender was ripe only one day later than, for example, Avatar.

Rosette of leaves limits growth

The Raffiness hybrid was recommended for last autumn sowing for experimental cropping and is increasingly recommended this year. Regarding agronomic properties such as resistance to sprouting, hardiness in winter, and stability, it has proven during cultivation that the high grades from the approvers are justified. Those who cultivate Raffiness can readily use organic fertiliser in autumn. The low-lying rosette of leaves means that individual plants do not grow upwards and resistance to sprouting is maintained, even with earlier sowing dates.

Straw reaches maturity quickly

The high levels of pressure from fungi in autumn 2015 were countered through the genetically enhanced fungal resistance in the variety. It is also recommended for operations with tight rape crop rotations. Maturity is classified as being early to moderately early, and relatively early maturity is also achieved in straw, which brings about the benefit of high harvesting output. During the AGRAVIS variety trials last year in the Bielefeld, Eldagsen, and Soest trial sites, Raffiness achieved very good results including a grain yield of 102 relative to the trial facilities and an average oil content of 45.5 per cent. These results support the official yield marks 8 / 9 / 8 in grain yield, oil yield, and oil content.

DK Exception for autumn sowing

DK Exception had already shown during the AGRAVIS trials AGRAVIS trials last year that it produced very high yields. In four of the five locations it outperformed the trial facilities by more than 11 per cent. With medium levels of oil content it can achieve a very high level of market performance. Due to these high yields, DK Exception is widely recommended for autumn sowing. The variety also features steady development in autumn and therefore belongs to the middle sowing window for all sites where rape is grown. Like Raffiness, DK Exception has genetically determined fungal resistance. Despite its plant length, it has good to very good stability.

Alicante, Raffiness, and DK Exception have fungal resistance.

We recommend the Alicante hybrid variety for experimental cropping. The variety features early maturity and contradicts the general trend for later maturity with such a characteristic. The high level of grain yield is ensured via genetically determined grain location. If harvesting is delayed due to the weather, then despite the earlier maturation it brings additional security to the yield. The hybrid can be cultivated on all sites where rape is grown in the early to medium sowing window, including cold locations and sites on higher ground. Just like Raffiness and DK Exception, Alicante also features fungal resistance.

Farmers make decisions based on test results

Depending on the location, sowing time, and sowing conditions, these four varieties can either expand or even replace the standard range of rape crops. Many farmers decide on varieties based on test results and experiences with varieties cultivated on their land from the previous year. Good experiences have been collected for Bender, Raffiness, DK Exception, and Alicante from numerous tests that confirm progress in cultivation and that could replace current varieties in the future.

Further information regarding rape varieties can be obtained from Michael Kleimann, tel. 0049 172 2 73 28 89, michael.kleimann@agravis.de.

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