“We are continuing to monitor the progress of our oilseed rape varieties in both our private trials and official trials as part of our usual programme of visits - taking careful note of social distancing rules,” reports Craig Padley, head of LSPB oilseed breeding.
“Clubroot in oilseed rape is a threat that is spreading from its original focal points of Scotland and northern England to other parts of the UK, hence we are focusing much of our effort on improving our resistant varieties,
“LSPB's clubroot resistant variety Crome was added to the AHDB Recommended List for 2019 and followed on from our variety Mentor, giving a boost in gross output in the AHDB East/West region - and even more so in the North region. Croozer joined Crome on the 2020/21 Recommended List, adding the important plus of the highest possible phoma resistance rating.
“As ever with plant breeding, we are balancing yield improvement with increased agronomic benefits, and the varieties in pre-RL trials we are currently checking have the promise of helping growers to have continued faith in the oilseed rape crop at a time when it is under pressure on all fronts.
“We should stress that improved OSR varieties need to go in lockstep with a more sustainable place of the crop in arable rotations - and preferably limiting other brassicas in the rotation as well.
“This is surely the way forward to protect the valuable clubroot resistance – and to keep an important crop for the UK growers and UK-grown food chain,” adds Mr Padley.