The first oilseed rape crop grown on a farm in Cornwall in seven years has produced the highest yields ever for the AHDB Monitor Farm

Ashley Jones, Smeaton Farm, near Saltash, harvested his 4.5 ha field of oilseed rape hybrid LG Ambassador on the July 22 to yield 4.07t/ha. A second crop of the conventional Aspire also performed well at 3.58t/ha.

“These are the highest oilseed rape yields we have ever achieved, and that’s taking into account some bare headland areas,” he said. Having dropped oilseed rape from the rotation at the AHDB Monitor Farm seven years ago as it was underperforming, Mr Jones was thrilled with these results, particularly as the LG Ambassador will go forward into the YEN oilseed competition this year.

LG Ambassador is the highest gross output hybrid variety on the current recommended list, with its exceptional autumn and spring vigour, plus a very good disease resistance profile. From LG Seeds, it is the first four-trait hybrid variety in the market.

Aspire is a high yielding conventional with the bonus of being the only AHDB recommended conventional with TuYV resistance.

“The LG Ambassador was drilled slightly later on the September 6, 2019, and we were lucky with the crop in the autumn as we didn’t have any CSFB infestation, so it got up and away. The crops stayed clean season- long. Both varieties have TuYV (turnip yellows virus) resistance and without a doubt this held yields up,” said Mr Jones.

He believed that in dropping the plough and harrow system he used previously, for min till into stubble, meant that the rape crops do not come through as lush and thick, and that by having fewer plants and a thinner crop, had more space and light. Therefore, yields improved.

He will be growing both varieties again next year and has already put in his seed order via his seeds rep', Simon House.