IN AN unprecedented achievement, Limagrain has taken the top six positions in the Recommended List for oilseed rape varieties.

In pole position sits the new conventional variety, Acacia, at 109.4% of controls, closely followed in by hybrids LG Ambassador (108%), LG Aurelia (107.5%) and LG Artemis (106.6%), with conventionals Aspire (105.8%) and Aardvark (105.3%) completing the line up.

“It’s certainly an exciting time for the Limagrain OSR breeding programme as this is the first time that any breeder has achieved this leading position with this many varieties and is a reflection of our focus on breeding high yielding, trait-loaded varieties aimed specifically for the UK farmer,” pointed out Vasilis Gegas, Limagrain’s OSR European portfolio manager.

Acacia is the highest gross output conventional variety for the East/West and North regions, with a gross output of 109.5% and 107.6%, respectively. “It is very vigorous in both the autumn and spring, combined with good disease resistance and short and stiff straw,” said Dr Gegas, "and is suited to the main OSR drilling window but is also useful in a late sown slot.

LG Ambassador is the first Limagrain 'fully loaded' hybrids to feature in the RL. Dr Gegas added: “This highest yielding hybrid for the East/West has a gross output of 108.4% over control and has shown itself to perform across the UK and Europe, showing it is resilient across a wide geographical area.”

LG Ambassador has package of traits associated with the hybrid breeding programme, including TuYV resistance, pod shatter resistance and carrying the RLM7 gene which gives it strong protection against stem canker, resulting in a resistance rating of 8, which along with a light leaf spot (LLS) resistance rating of 7, gives a strong proposition for high disease areas.

Another hybrid, LG Aurelia has an extremely high gross output, and the Limagrain full compliment of traits such as TuYV resistance, pod shatter resistance and RLM7 against stem canker, it also offers the most robust disease resistance ratings of any variety on the AHDB Recommended List with a rating of 8 for both stem canker and light leaf spot resistance.

Fellow hybrid, LG Artemis, also has high yields (East/West 106.6% and North, 106%) that again comes with Limagrain’s standard combination of TuYV resistance and pod shatter resistance. It also offers first class early vigour, stiff straw, early maturity and a high oil content.

The conventional, Aspire – which was recommended last year – remains with very high gross output for East/West and North regions, as was proven in harvest 2019 with a gross output of 105.8%.

Add to this, its TuYV resistance, a strong disease profile, the opportunity to early drill, as well as short and stiff straw, and it’s clear that Aspire is a 'farmer friendly' variety.

Finally, Aardvark is a conventional variety that 'thinks it is a hybrid', said Dr Gegas. It has high gross output potential across all regions of the UK, with a UK gross output of 105.3% over control and is very vigorous in both the autumn and spring, like hybrids.


Harvest results confirm value of TuYV resistance

The 2019 harvest results from trials conducted by the Association of Independent Crop Consultants (AICC) in West Wittering, showed that there was a 0.4-0.5t/ha yield advantage from varieties with TuYV resistance against those without.

Limagrain’s conventional variety, Aspire, performed very well, as did the newly recommended LG Aurelia and LG Ambassador.

“In this particular trial, Aspire yielded 6.7t/ha – that’s a massive yield bonus over the 6t/ha from the non-TuYV resistant variety, Campus. LG Aurelia was just behind, on 6.4t/ha,” explained Peter Cowlrick, director in CCC Agronomy, who managed the trials.

In a second trial in Suffolk, the trend was the same, with TuYV resistant varieties leading the pack. LG Aurelia managed a yield of 6.1t/ha, well above that of Campus at just above 5.6t/ha. LG Ambassador yielded just below 5.9t/ha and Aspire 5.86t/ha.

“What these results show is that with varieties such as Aspire, LG Aurelia and LG Ambassador, there is no longer the yield drag once associated with TuYV resistance – in fact, it’s quite the opposite,” he added.

“In the south-east, where the risk of TuYV infection is very high, on some farms almost 80% of the crop going into the ground this autumn will be TuYV resistant varieties. These varieties also play an important role in IPM, as there is less reliance on insecticides."