Winter rape is the main cultivation in central Europe as the summer rape has experienced a widespread decline of more than 90% since mid-1990s and thus is hardly relevant.
Throughout Germany, 00-rape is almost exclusively cultivated as the efforts of producing erucic acid and non-glucose (under 2% in the oil) have been able to record great progress since the begin of he 1980s. Within the rape cultivation, differentiation is also made between hybrid varieties, line varieties, Holl rape (High Oleic, low Linolenic) and erucic acid containing varieties. The holl and erucic acid containing rape is negligible, as these varieties are only cultivated on order and upon arrangement with the respective cultivators. Due to the many advantages of the hybrid varieties, many cultivators mainly concentrate on their development, which means that only a few innovations in the line variety sector reach the market.
Next to the reliably high yields, the flexibility in sowing times, undemanding nature regarding the location and high oil yields, the hybrid varieties offer many further advantages. Hybrids are less sensitive in cooler, humid weather, later sowing times and, for example, ground processing without a plow.
A hybrid variety is characterised by a stronger vitality and a higher yield in comparison to its parents. The reason for this is the hybrid cultivation as such, whereby two genetically different, homozygous genotypes are crossed. This genetic phenomenon is described with the term "heterosis".
The self-pollination has to be excluded for the cultivation and production of hybrid varieties. For this reason, sterile mother lines have to be generated and maintained. Furthermore, it must be ensured in the hybrid seed production that the pollen formation of the hybrid plant grown from the hybrid seed is restored.
Line varieties are particularly characterised by different maturity times, which can diffuse harvest peaks, as well as by their stability and health, which forms the basis for large yields. In addition, line varieties are suitable for early sowing times, which can positively contribute to diffuse the work effort during sowing.
The rape surface development during the last years shows that the hybrid component in rape is constantly increasing in Germany. Line varieties are of a rather rare significance.