Premium-earning High Oleic Low Linolenic (HOLL) winter oilseed rape plantings are set to more than triple across the country in the coming season as extra seed supplies are secured for the UK to meet increased crusher demand and exceptional grower interest.
Announcing the wider availability of seed for autumn planting, Monsanto UK lead, Geoff Hall suggested that HOLL varieties could command a 2015/16 market share of as much as 10% in a unprecedented vote of industry confidence in the added-value rapeseed sector.
“The arrival of V316OL at the very top of the current East & West Recommended List on gross output alone has really opened growers’ eyes to the potential HOLL production offers,” he pointed out. “It has highlighted the fact that our modern hybrids can perform at least as well as the highest output ordinary double lows while delivering flat rate premiums on top of oil bonuses that are particularly attractive at current rapeseed prices.”
“At the same time, to meet growing European demand for healthier vegetable oils with greater functionality in place of sunflower and palm oil both the main UK crushers have significantly increased the volumes they would like for 2016 harvest. And no less than three continental crushers are also seeking increasing supplies from British growers to meet their market demand.”
To ensure the best matching of supply with this demand – and valuable stability as well as traceability and quality assurance for producers and customers alike – HOLL varieties continue to be available via specialist contracts with designated crushers through committed seed suppliers and grain buyers.
Premiums for 2016 harvest remain highly attractive, with the latest Strutt & Parker costings showing HOLL cropping delivering an estimated gross margin more than £100/ha higher than an ordinary ‘double low’ standard and above even a typical High Erucic Acid Rape (HEAR) with a £95/t premium.
Furthermore, Geoff Hall reports that a good 95% of HOLL samples analysed ahead of movement by Monsanto’s laboratory service as part of the grower contract regularly meet the premium-earning linolenic oil specification.
“Research shows our modern hybrids are much more competitive with OSR volunteers than the original pure line HOLLs too,” he added. “Care in seed and crop identification and management continues to be important. But this means growers clearly have more flexibility in reliably introducing the crop into their rotations these days. And, of course, there’s no performance penalty over ordinary ‘double lows’ should any crop actually fail to make the premium specification.”
To provide sufficient seed to meet the major expansion in contracts for 2015 planting, Monsanto is complementing RL-topping V316OL and V295OL – widely proven in UK growing – with two other HOLL hybrid stablemates from its extensive breeding programme. Both current RL candidates, V324OL and V292OL which are already competing strongly with top yielding varieties in commercial production in Germany, combine notably high gross outputs with linolenic acid levels comfortably below 3%.
“Like the varieties they join, our extra hybrid HOLLs don’t yet carry the full set of DK yield-protecting traits,” said Geoff Hall. “However, like V316OL and V292OL too, their disease resistance and agronomics stand out from the majority of currently available UK varieties. So growers should have no concerns in these respects either.
“The demand for contracts we and our partners are receiving this season means HOLL-growing is really coming of age,” he concluded. “The extra seed supplies we’ve been able to secure from our European colleagues will really help. Even so, they’re unlikely to be enough to completely satisfy current interest. This means contracts are being offered by seed suppliers very much on a first-come, first-served basis.”