July 15, 2016
Look out for Verticillium wilt - you need a variety with proven resistance
As harvest approaches, albeit later than usual this year, growers may start to see areas in the field where the crop looks to be ripening prematurely. This could be symptoms of Verticillium wilt, so it is worth going out to inspect crops and if this disease is found, make a proactive decision to grow a resistant variety this autumn, says Neil Groom, Technical Director of Grainseed.

Plant pathologist Dr Faye Ritchie of ADAS points out that Verticillium symptoms are usually seen later on as the crops starts to ripen. “Symptoms to look out for are yellowing leaves, premature ripening of branches and grey striping down stems, often on one side only but it can be the whole cross-section of a stem. Underneath the vertical stripes, if you peel off the outer stem layer you will see grey vascular tissue. If you use a hand lens, you can see tiny black microsclerotia in the grey stems. The microsclerotia can survive in the soil for many years to infect subsequent crops.”
We have already seen striping on stems at Boxworth and advanced symptoms such as premature senescence and microsclerotia on stems can now be found. Crops are still very green and showing few external symptoms but these will be more pronounced as the crop starts to senesce or following desiccation.

She says that ADAS has been involved in various projects on Verticillium for a number of years. “According to the Fera Crop Monitor, 22% of all winter oilseed rape crops were infected with Verticillium in 2014. Last year the figure was a lot lower at 6% of crops only, the lowest since 2011. In 2013 it was 24%, in 2012 it was 10% and in 2011 18%. The disease is found in all regions except the South West. Highest levels of disease in 2014 were in the South East where 58% of crops had infection and 8% of stems were affected. So in 2014, one in five fields suffered from this soil-borne disease.

“Nevertheless it is of concern as its incidence has been a lot higher. To control it sustainably, you either need a long gap between rape crops or you must use resistant varieties,” says Neil Groom. “It may also be the case that growing susceptible oilseed rape varieties in disease-affected area could lead to a build-up of microsclerotia in the soil. Logically the opposite could also apply, by growing a resistant variety could minimise any build up in the soil.”

Neil Groom says once you have identified Verticillium, you need to start thinking seriously about how to handle it. “Unlike other diseases of rape, there is no proven or approved fungicide to control it and so growers must rely on cultural control measures – expanding the rotation and/or choosing varieties with known resistance. Grainseed oilseed rape varieties including Es Mambo have proven resistance to Verticillium, following several years’ independent trials and commercial experience.”

Neil advises growers to grow rape varieties with a good combined disease resistance. “In cereals you wouldn’t think twice about studying disease resistance ratings before choosing your variety. This needs to be the same for rape varieties now. A good variety needs to have resistance to Verticillium and Phoma as well as to Light Leaf spot. Mambo has a 7.8 rating for Phoma and a 6.4 for Light Leaf spot plus it is the Number 1 performing variety in AICC Verticillium trials in Suffolk in 2015. Out of 26 varieties tested Es Mambo yielded 111.7% compared with the average. It delivered the top yield in this trial. Genetic resistance to Phoma in all Grainseed varieties is multi-gene and so unlikely to break down.”

At a time when growers are questioning higher input costs in rape, growing a variety such as Mambo where you can be sure of its strong disease resistance across the board can only help you save money, says Neil.

Mambo shows exceptional autumn vigour, helping the crop grow away from diseases and pests, increasingly important as there will be no neonicotinoid seed treatments this year and pressure of cabbage stem flea beetles at planting,” says Neil. Many agronomists are advising early drilling into good seedbeds to achieve rapid cotyledon and early plant growth.

Dr Ritchie says that she is nearing the end of the first year of the three-year AHDB funded project, carried out by ADAS and NIAB (with Janes Thomas at NIAB as the lead) is now is progress with the aim of assessing susceptibility of a range of varieties to Verticillium. “The idea is to develop a disease resistance rating that can be added to the AHDB oilseeds Listings.” she says.

For further information on the oilseed rape varieties Es Mambo, Es Alienor, Es Astrid, Es Cubic and Es Alegria, please contact Neil Groom, Technical Director of Grainseed Ltd on 01379 871073 or 07774 720240.
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July 15, 2016
An all-round oilseed rape variety with the highest AHDB Agronomic rating
James Mayhew of Bartholomews
James Mayhew of Bartholomews
A good conventional all-rounder winter oilseed rape variety is how the variety Mambo is described by Neil Groom, Technical Director of Grainseed. “Es Mambo had the highest AHDB Agronomic Merit rating of 41.2, combined with a consistent high yield across a range of sites and years, as well as high oil content. Its excellent combined multi-gene disease resistance profile and its standing power really ups the agronomic rating,” he says.

James Mayhew of Bartholomews in West Sussex who grow seed crops of Mambo and says “Mambo is very vigorous in the autumn and spring. It stands well and has stiff straw. It has high disease ratings all round. It also has high oil content of 45.6%which our growers like.”

James says that growers are looking at ways of saving money on inputs on oilseed rape. ”Es Mambo is a conventional variety and is very economically priced. This works out at a much cheaper option to plant in comparison to other conventionals and certainly is less expensive than buying hybrid seed. Neonic seed dressings will not be available this year so pressure is on at establishment with several crops last year being badly affected by cabbage stem flea beetle and having to be resown. Mambo however grows away strongly in the autumn, so gives you the best chances of the crop outgrowing such pest damage. Many agronomists are advocating drilling by mid August to get crops established before flea beetle adults fly into crops.”

James Mayhew is impressed with Mambo’s disease resistance. “In AICC trials last year, Mambo seemed to be the top variety against Verticillium which has become more of an issue now. It also has a low infection incidence rating to Phoma with 4.2% and an equally low rating for Light leaf spot 4.8% according to the NIAB TAG Variety & Seed Compendium 2016/17 which compares all OSR varieties grown.

In comparison Charger showed a 17.5% infection rating to Phoma and 11.2% infection for LLS! I must say growers are saying how well Mambo is looking in the field. They are very comfortable with it. It is a very popular and widely grown variety in France and they had a shortage of seed last year so some seed was sourced from the UK. Verticillium is much more widespread in Europe than the UK.”

Neil explains that some of the Grainseed trials were drilled on the same sites as the AHDB Recommended List trials but harvested at the right time for the earlier maturing varieties, which doesn’t happen in the RL trials. “In Lincolnshire in 2014, Mambo yielded 6.34 t/ha compared with 4.97 t/ha for Excalibur, 5.35 t/ha for Vision, 5.49 t/ha for DK Cabernet and PR46W21 for 5.56 t/ha. In Nottinghamshire it yielded 5.69 t/ha, with DK Cabernet yielding 4.95 t/ha, PR46W21 5.10 t/ha, Excalibur 5.43 t/ha and Vision 5.57 t/ha. In Suffolk Mambo yielded 5.74 t/ha compared with Excalibur at 4.58 t/ha, PR46W21 at 4.74 t/ha, Vision 4.81 t/ha and DK Cabernet at 4.83 t/ha. So it yields really well against the control varieties.”

In Euralis development trials Mambo was the top yielder at 107.3%, compared with Vision at 103.1%, DK Cabernet at 100.6%, DK Exstorm with 100.6%, 98.9% for Excalibur and PR46W21 at 97.4%.

Mambo’s earliness to harvest is a practical advantage for a rape variety, as growers can get the crop harvested and in the barn well before later maturing ones. “Mambo isn’t as early as Alienor but is around one week earlier than Incentive. As we start the 2016 harvest, the idea of spreading harvests and having more time to treat seedbeds with glyphosate and to cultivate the land before drilling next year’s wheat has a strong appeal to growers,” says Neil.

Mambo is a conventional low biomass winter rape variety. “It has exceptional autumn vigour which, without neonicotinoid seed treatments this coming autumn, is absolutely essential. This vigour can help the crop grow away from damaging flea beetle attack. It also has excellent standing power with an 8 rating for stem stiffness and a 9 for resistance to lodging.”

Importantly, as with all Grainseed varieties, it has multigene resistance to stem canker with an excellent resistance rating of 7.8, a high resistance rating to Light Leaf spot of 6.4 and good proven resistance to Verticillium.

“Mambo is one of the highest rated oilseed rapes for Phoma stem canker, reducing pressure on early autumn fungicide sprays. It is concerning that many popular varieties have very low Phoma ratings. Each AHDB rating is worth at least £20/ha to growers so Mambo’s rating could be valued at over £100/ha extra above PR46W21 or Mentor (rated at a worrying 3 for Phoma) or £80/ha above Charger, Incentive, Nikita (all with just a 4 rating against Phoma),” calculates Mr Groom.

James Mayhew of Bartholomews says that field inspection of the seed crop by NIAB resulted in the conclusion that Mambo looked to have high potential. “It looks to be a very useful variety which we will be recommending to our customers. I think there is an increasing need for growing strongly disease resistant varieties these days.”
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July 08, 2016
Remington growing well in Hereford!
Grainseed's Wilson Hendry checking Remington maize in Hereford
Grainseed's Wilson Hendry checking Remington maize in Hereford
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