Top OSR picks for this coming autumn and beyond

Publish on March 26, 2024
Reading time : < 1 min
RAGT has a clutch of new oilseed rape varieties that will be available for sowing this autumn, covering a range of growth habits, traits and agronomic features. Over the next two newsletters, RAGT UK’s managing director Lee Bennett looks at what’s on offer and previews some promising material coming through the pipeline.

RAGT’s decision to reset its oilseed rape breeding programme a few years ago is on the verge of delivering some outstanding material, a varied portfolio that will contain something of potential interest for every oilseed rape grower in the country.

According to Lee, this new material from RAGT offers a step change, not just in what has been before, but what is available on the market today.

“Some of these varieties have really stood out as they’ve been coming through the system, for all sorts of reasons,” he says.

“We have a broad selection of material coming forward, the products of two separate sterility systems in our hybrid breeding programmes which gives access to a wide range of traits.

“This is helping us develop varieties that I believe will have something for everyone – varieties that fit the farm, rather than the other way round.”

 

RGT Kanzzas

RGT Kanzzas, a Recommended List candidate last season, didn’t quite have enough extra yield to become fully recommended, but it was just too good a variety to ignore, says Lee.

With that in mind, it will be widely available this coming autumn and could prove a very popular choice thanks to its excellent vigour, before and after winter, and exceptional resistance to light leaf spot.

“Spring vigour is now a critical component in oilseed rape, due to the massive increase in cabbage stem flea beetle larvae infestations we’ve seen since the ban on neonicotinoids made controlling adult populations almost impossible,” says Lee.

“We cannot control these larvae, so the ability of a variety to grow away rapidly after the winter and outcompete their grazing effects has become a key part of the defence mechanism.

“RGT Kanzzas is vigorous like you’ve never seen before. And that’s where it really wins – the last thing you want is a variety that’s going to stall after you’ve emptied your pockets on nitrogen and other key inputs.”

Lee describes RGT Kanzzas’ light leaf spot resistance as ‘epic’. “Most winter kill is brought about by light leaf spot and this variety doesn’t suffer from it, which goes hand-in-hand with its vigour.

“Its resistance is show-stopping – it was one of two standout varieties in official trials. It’s one that gets up and away and fills in first.”

Lee says RGT Kanzzas is a big biomass variety, with a very stiff, upright, but not overly tall canopy. It also has pod shatter resistance.

“It’s been my favourite for a while and I’ve not changed my mind since,” he says. “You’re never going to be caught out with it.

“When taking customers through trials last year it was like moth to a flame – they were all over it. It’s such a good-looking variety; it doesn’t matter what time of year you look at it.

“It has a big canopy, a good skeleton and plenty of meat on the bones, as well as pod-shatter resistance.

“There’s a lot to RGT Kanzzas. Yield-wise it was a whisker away from getting on to the list, pumping put equivalent yields to Aurelia and within spitting distance of Ambassador in trials.

“But it has a very different genetic background to those varieties, and its on-farm  performance is exceptional.”

RGT Kanzzas

  • Outstanding vigour
  • Exceptional resistance to light leaf spot
  • Low winter kill
  • Short and stiff
  • Good phoma score
  • Good resistance to verticillium
  • Pod shatter resistance
  • High yield
  • Very high oil content

 

RGT Paparazzi

RGT Paparazzi is an RL Candidate variety and is one of the highest yielding in the East/West trial series.

“I don’t know where the yield comes from on this one – it’s extraordinary,” says Lee.

“One massive point of difference with RGT Paparazzi is its excellent phoma resistance, which comes from a unique source. It is a complex resistance that does not revolve around a single gene.

“Another USP is that although this is a high-biomass variety with a big canopy, it is not a monster. I would call it a semi-determinate type, a different canopy style that is more manageable than most big leafy varieties.

“It won’t get away from you, and you will never get it to go over. It’s early to flower and pretty early to harvest as well.

 

“To top it off, it has very good vigour and good winter hardiness. It’s certainly one to look out for this coming autumn, when it will be available for commercial cropping for the first time.”

RGT Paparazzi

  • Excellent phoma resistance from a unique source
  • High biomass but manageable growth habit
  • Suitable for early sowing
  • Early to harvest
  • Pod shatter resistance
  • Very high yield

 

Coded variety BNJ2107

This variety is going through National List 1 trials, so is still a couple of years away from market. However, it is showing a lot of promise in all departments, says Lee.

“This is different. Yields are right up there and the seed has very high oil content. The variety is easy to manage; its agronomic credentials stack up one after the other – its quick in the autumn, it’s the shortest material we have and is very stiff strawed, plus it is very early to flower, so it just gets on with the job.”

BNJ2107 has the best combination disease of all RAGT’s current NL1 entries, he adds. “It is resistant to turnip yellows, has hardly any phoma and is one of the best for light leaf spot resistance.

“It also has a very good stem disease profile. This is basically an overall view of final plant health, a subjective score, looking at verticillium, light leaf spot, canker, sclerotinia and it is doing very well from that perspective.”

Watch out for Part 2 of Lee’s guide to RAGT’s OSR pipeline next month.

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