Over the last 4 years, we have seen the LG Oilseed Rape portfolio dominate the Recommended List, and the consistency of on-farm performance for many growers has been witnessed, with Aurelia and Ambassador becoming dependable staple varieties.
This strength in depth of the portfolio continues to progress, as we have four Candidate varieties available this autumn: LG Armada, LG Academic, LG Adeline and LG Aphrodite.
In a time when it would appear that the Recommended List is looking to be condensed, it is really encouraging to see the depth in our portfolio continues to produce varieties, with LG getting 4 Candidate varieties based on their NL performance; this is more than any other breeder.
The four varieties are all fully loaded hybrids, meaning that they encompass LG’s trait stacking approach to help mitigate risk for growers, by having the combination of TuYV resistance and pod-shatter, along with solid disease resistances.
LG Armada, LG Adeline and LG Academic all possess the new ‘Stem Health’ tag. This means that from our breeding trials across the UK and Europe, the three varieties have shown consistently strong levels or resistance to phoma stem canker, cylindrosporium and verticillium wilt.
Cylindrosporium is the stem-based symptoms of light leaf spot which, if bad, can cause early senescence, reduced oils and yield. As a result of improved stem health, these new hybrids have increased oil contents as well as more resilience towards the end of the growing season, due to the better translocation of water and nutrients to the pods.
Coretta Kloeppel – OSR Hybrid Breeder
What is the main aim of the LG breeding programme?
“The main aim of the LG breeding programme is to secure and achieve high yields for farmers. Through stacking traits and maximising disease resistances, we look to reduce as much risk for growers as possible.”
How important is the UK to the wider European breeding team?
“The UK is integral to the European programme, it is where all initial crosses take place, every European variety begins its life in Lincolnshire. It is also very important for disease screening, the LLS screening we carry out in Scotland along with the Verticillium trials in Suffolk, all help provide data for the UK, but also feed into the wider European data sets. This helps us to build a full picture and ensure disease resistances are robust.”
What are the main threats to UK OSR growers and how are we looking to help mitigate against them?
“Cabbage Flea beetle is the obvious one. We have already started by prioritising spring and autumn vigour when selecting varieties, but we are also looking for ideotypes which may be more resilient, as well as being involved in numerous research projects. There is no silver bullet, but marginal gains can certainly help. We are also looking at club root varieties as well as looking more into the importance of Verticillium.”
What is the most important trait in OSR?
“There is no one important trait, from what we have seen the combination is the most important. So TuYV is crucial for all round plant health and maximising yield, whereas Pod shatter ensures that as much of what is produced by the plant ends up in the shed to be sold.”