Winning performance secures Avatar's place on HGCA Recommended List

Avatar, the early-maturing, high-yielding oilseed rape hybrid from LS Plant Breeding has been added to the HGCA 2013/14 Recommended List (East/West region).

Avatar was the leading candidate variety in terms of gross output when it entered the 2012 Recommended List trials and is set to deliver a similar winning performance on farms, says LSPB managing director Theo Labuda.

Like other early varieties, it was compromised by this year's delayed harvest of official trials but still manages an impressive four-year mean gross output figure, he explains.

"Avatar's gross output stands at 103.9, just 1.6% behind the leading variety on the new list. That is well within the 4% least significant difference figure and, if it can be harvested at the optimum maturity, I am sure Avatar's performance will be even better than the trials data indicates.'

The vast majority of varieties in Recommended List trials are late or medium-late maturing, so the tendency is to harvest the trials when those varieties are ready, he explains.

"Inevitably this is later than ideal for early-maturing varieties, and this year's wet weather meant even more delay, compounding that negative impact.'

Good stem stiffness (RL score of 8), medium height (156cm) and strong autumn vigour will help the newcomer deliver, says Mr Labuda.

"Avatar's early maturity can also help spread the harvest load. It is ideal for growers with a large oilseed rape area to cut or for those with milling wheat who need to make an early start.'

Many growers are already set to benefit, he adds. Avatar seed sales this autumn equated to 22,500ha, an estimated 3.9% of the area sown with certified seed.

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