Date: 06/2023
  • One of the best varieties ever grown
  • No flea beetle or pigeon damage
  • Minimal nitrogen and other inputs required


DSV Dart's high autumn and spring vigour combined with an excellent all-round disease package have impressed Robert Jenness of Butcher Farms, near Great Fransham in Norfolk.

"In terms of establishment, ability to grow through pest and disease threats and then really get going after the winter, DSV Dart is probably one of the best varieties we have ever grown here," he says.

"It's suffered no damage from flea beetle in the autumn with no insecticide being necessary and also grew away from the pigeon damage we usually experience in the spring, despite it being particularly cold and wet this year."

Oilseed rape is a key player in the farm's 400ha of cropping based on a six-year rotation alongside feed wheat, winter and spring barley, spring beans and grass grown for the equine feed market, he explains.

"We've pretty much stuck with 60ha of oilseed rape in our rotation over recent years, as it's the ideal break crop for us and it works well in the block cropping approach we use.

"We have had disease and pest problems in the past so top of the features we look for in a variety are good early vigour, a strong overall disease resistance package and the ability to power away in the spring.

"DSV Dart ticked all these boxes with excellent yields and oil content too, so we decided to put 60% of our oilseed rape area down to the new variety this year.

"It would have been all DSV Dart, but we decided to try a Clearfield variety to help us deal with a weed problem in certain fields."

The crop was drilled on 23rd August, a little bit later than the target date of 14th August, due to the dry weather conditions, he recalls.

"The crop followed winter barley with the land getting a good application of pig manure before being drilled with a subsoiler and seeder combination and then being rolled in with a rib roller.

"The crop emerged strongly and quickly a few days later and within a few weeks was much further ahead than the other oilseed rape on the farm.

"Even without an insecticide, it came through the winter unscathed and has looked really good all the way through to summer, requiring only a little bit of Nitrogen in the spring.

"Yield-wise, the recent hot and dry weather probably means it's not going to be the best year for oilseed rape, but I am confident our DSV Dart will achieve the farm's five-year average of 4.9t/ha which is pretty good considering the year we have had."