Plant breeder Elsoms Seeds has sped up its oilseed rape development programme – thanks to increased investment in technology and new staff.
Four new conventional winter oilseed rape varieties with good agronomics have been fast-tracked into national list year one trials, says Mark Nightingale, senior oilseed rape breeder at the Spalding based company.
“Investments in both personnel and technology have enabled us to take a more targeted approach, adopting more focused breeding programmes on different end products for both individual grower customers and merchants, as well as the market as a whole.”
The company’s winter oilseed rape programme is in a good position with novel genetics and the introduction of key traits, says Mr Nightingale, who predicts a big future for primed hybrid rape variety Tennyson.
“Beyond a strong future pipeline, our current focus for this season is very much on Tennyson – a unique variety that offers excellent phoma resistance to stem canker on oilseed rape based on its polygenic resistance.”
Mr Nightingale says this is a special trait given that most top performing hybrids still rely on the Rlm7 gene for resistance, which is breaking down. Polygenic resistance is likely to be far more durable, he adds.
“This key disease resistance trait, alongside the known benefits of primed seed, should offer additional reassurances to growers planting primed Tennyson this season and we are expecting significant commercial interest in the variety this summer.
Primed seed trials currently in
the ground are said to be impressive – not only in the speed of germination, uniformity and plant stand but also
because primed seed has allowed
the crop to get away quicker again in the spring.
“With primed seed you still see a beneficial affect mid-way through flowering, and it is very likely that the additional root development in primed seed will also allow primed crops to better scavenge nutrition and water several months after establishment.”