Seismic change in rape variety market share for 2010 season

24 Aug 2009

Significant changes in variety market share are expected this autumn following confirmation of the final HGCA Recommended List (RL) oilseed rape trials results.

The national crop has long been dominated by the conventional varieties Castille and ES Astrid and the hybrids Flash and Excalibur. 

“That is set to change with this year’s strong performances from the hybrid variety PR46W21 and Vision, a conventional line, consolidating their positions as major varieties for the coming season.  But the icing on the cake for growers is the performance of the much-heralded conventional DK Cabernet, matching PR46W21 for gross output,” says NIAB oilseeds expert Simon Kightley.

He believes that the three high performing varieties could provide the extra push looked for by growers in raising the static national yield average above 3.1 t/ha.  “Despite the strong swing towards hybrids last season the majority of growers prefer growing a conventional variety so it’s good news that DK Cabernet and Vision have been proven to match hybrid performance.

“It may take a few seasons for some growers to move on from the likes of Castille and ES Astrid.  With a short manageable canopy Castille has a long-lasting popularity and some of the new additions don’t conform to that specification.  But variety choice this season is greater than ever, and I think growers will benefit by being able to match variety to soil type and market requirement,” says Simon.

For growers in England looking for stem canker resistance the tall hybrid Excel still stands out with virtual immunity with a score of 9.  ES Astrid still has useful resistance with a 7, and DK Cabernet, Vision, Eiffel and Castille all have a respectable score of 6.

Commenting on the next set of varieties Simon believes Compass finished where expected, with a slightly lower yield to PR46W21. 

“Compass is a useful, high performing variety but may struggle for recommendation.  Osprey and Eiffel also performed reasonably well with a similar gross output to Vision.  Krypton stumbled this year, but it may be a blip and will be re-sown in HGCA RL trials.  Similarly, Bizzon had a disappointing year and will not continue in RL trials, but could be a useful variety in some situations,” finishes Simon Kightley.

For further information contact:
Simon Kightley, Oilseeds and Pulses, NIAB
T: 01223 342339
M: 07745 775176
E: simon.kightley [at]

Issued by:
Ros Lloyd, Front Foot Communications            
T: 01487 831425     
E: ros.lloyd [at]