Monsanto tops the Northern RL 05-Jan-2015

No less than three Monsanto hybrids have taken their place in the top five of the new HGCA Recommended List of winter oilseed rape varieties for northern growers published this week (Monday December 1).

Coming straight onto the List with a treated gross output of 111% of controls in each case are mainstream ‘double low’ DK Explicit and premium-earning High Oleic, Low Linolenic (HOLL) variety, V316OL, which also takes top spot on the East/West RL. They are accompanied by ‘double low’ DK Exentiel with a gross output rating of 109.

As well as one of the highest oil contents on the northern List at 45.5%, V316OL is currently providing growers with flat rate premiums of £25-£35 per tonne on top of all oil bonuses for high value food oil production. What is more, it combines this unprecedented value with some of the best lodging and stem stiffness scores on the Recommended List and good resistance to both phoma stem canker and light leaf spot.

In addition to very high gross outputs, both DK Explicit and DK Exentiel offer the best currently available combinations of double phoma and light leaf spot resistance (8 and 6 respectively) for excellent northern reliability. For the greatest production consistency they also carry both the DEKALB hybrid yield-protecting traits of vigorous establishment and pod shatter resistance.

As well as the main drilling window, slightly different early growth habits make DK Explicit better suited to earlier drilling and DK Exentiel to later drilling. At 45.9%, DK Explicit has the highest oil content on the 2015/16 List and is relatively taller and later maturing, while DK Exentiel is somewhat shorter and earlier maturing.

“V316OL has all the advantages,” stressed Monsanto oilseed rape breeder, Matthew Clarke. “Unlike our original HOLL varieties, it and sister hybrid, V295OL – already widely appreciated by growers for its high output  – are producing on a clear par with the best of today’s commodity double low varieties and markedly better than most

“As if this wasn’t enough, they offer premiums over ‘double lows’ of a good 10% of current rapeseed market values to meet growing European food processor demand market for high health frying oils. The fact that V316OL also joins the East/West List as one of its three highest output varieties speaks volumes for the variety’s consistency, based firmly on an agronomic package most other varieties on either List would give their eye teeth for.


“As much output potential as all but one variety on the northern RL means no financial downside if the premium HOLL specification isn’t met either. So I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to grow it or one of our other high output HOLL varieties in the coming year.

“DK Explicit probably has the highest output potential of any variety we have launched

in the UK to date,” Matthew Clarke continued. “A compact autumn growth habit means it can be drilled early, but as a tall and vigorous hybrid, low establishment density

and timely use of PGR’s are important.

“Shorter in the stem and earlier maturing, DK Exentiel has proven itself a reliable high performing variety in trials across northern Europe with more flexibility over crop density and growth regulation.  Although its highest output in HGCA trials has been in the north of the UK, our extensive trials under farm conditions show it offers as much commercial performance potential and reliability throughout the country.”


Also described for the first time on the HGCA Northern Recommended List for 2015/16 is Clearfield hybrid, DK Imagis CL with a treated gross output better than more than half the Recommended varieties. This step change in Clearfield variety output performance allied to excellent agronomics will be particularly appreciated by growers with cruciferous weed problems.