LIMAGRAIN'S OSR breeder, Dr Vasilis Gegas gives us the lowdown on its new oilseed rape varieties, Aquila and Nikita, which have made it on to the Recommended List.

"The trend for producing higher yielding varieties with better disease resistance has been reflected in the oilseed rape recommendations this year, with two of the four varieties recommended coming from Limagrain's UK-focussed breeding programme.

“The restored hybrid, Aquila, has shown a gross output of 108%, and treated yield potential comparable to Elgar. On the basis of this, it has been placed onto the East/West list, although for growers in Scotland it’s worth noting that is has also performed well in the North at 107%"

“Its agronomic characteristics make it suitable for a range of situations both in the south and further north. It is a vigorous variety, with a stiff stem and a very good disease resistance package with a 6 for light leaf spot and 8 for stem canker.

"This is one of the best combinations of yield and disease resistance on the RL, and makes the variety stand out well above over other hybrids such as Windozz, Alizze and Wembley and it has very good pod shatter tolerance."

On Nikita, he said: "After its excellent performance last season, in both North and East/West trials, Nikita has gained recommendation on both lists, after initially being approved just for the North, proving that is a UK-wide top performer.

“Despite the challenges of last season, it still managed to take a top position on the RL in terms of gross output at 108% in the East/West and 109% in the North. That's down to its solid seed yield and excellent oil content, being one of the highest in its category, at 46.3%.

“The variety is backed up by robust genetics that suit a range of diverse conditions. Its light leaf spot rating of 7, makes it one of the highest on the Recommended List. Varieties with high LLS ratings show significantly better natural resistance compared to other varieties, providing that bit of breathing space required to treat crops.

“We have seen from the results of last season, that whilst the variety has a lower rating for phoma, this can be easily controlled with a good autumn spray programme, with no detrimental effect on yield.”