Date: 04/2021

Plant breeders continue to make innovations in oilseed rape development as DSV Dart, the company’s latest variety and which has now joined the 2021/22 AHDB candidate list, proves, says the company’s Sarah Hawthorne.

“Whilst oilseed rape’s popularity on UK farms has been somewhat dented in recent years following the neonicotinoid ban, breeders have not lost confidence in the crop and continue to invest in its future.

“Many producers saw oilseed rape establish well last autumn with robust crops now starting to grow strongly in most parts of the country potentially giving growers a new found confidence in its position in UK rotations.

“Much of the development of oilseed rape in recent years has been around giving the crop greater resilience in the face of the reduced agronomic options available with DSV’s own PNN (Post NeoNicotinoid) initiative being at the fore of this.”

This thinking has led to the establishment of ‘layered’ trait sets combining disease resistance with strong physical properties all designed to make crops stronger and more viable with less inputs, she points out.

“DSV Temptation led the charge with this with it’s high vigour and yield potential supported by Turnip Yellow Virus (TuYV) resistance.

“DSV Darling and Dazzler then became the first ever ‘triple layered’ varieties combining Turnip Yellow Virus (TuYV) resistance, RLM7+ multigene Phoma Stem Canker resistance and Pod Shatter resistance.

“Several variations on the theme have resulted since, with DSV Crossfit CR adding Clubroot resistance into the mix and there have been several Clearfield options, but DSV’s new variety Dart, takes the thinking several stages on.”

New DSV Dart

DSV Dart joined the AHDB Candidate List in December 2020. It is a very high yielding variety which, although performing well across UK trials, has delivered particularly impressive results in the East and West regions, Sarah Hawthorne points out.

“With a gross output of 113% in the East and West region of the 2021/22 candidate list and an oil content of 45.7%, DSV Dart marks a significant step forward in DSV’s lineage of high performing oilseed rape varieties.

“Reliable, simple to grow and with a high output, DSV Dart has been specifically selected for the UK with its strong genetic base and parentage meaning it is particularly well adapted to the UK’s climate and growing conditions.

“Like previous varieties, Dart offers protection from the growing threat of TuYV virus which is now endemic across the UK. With the potential to reduce yields by up to 20%, TuYV resistance is rapidly becoming a must have option on the oilseed rape checklist.

“Also like many of its DSV predecessors, Dart features RLM7+ multi-gene resistance to stem canker, strong verticillium wilt tolerance plus high resistance to light leaf spot with a score of 6 making it an agronomist-friendly variety well suited to Integrated Crop Management (ICM) systems.

“Rapid development of new leaves is another of the variety’s key attributes with strong spring vigour allowing it to grow away quickly as the days start to get longer.”

Introducing Harvest Max Technology

But what really sets Dart apart is that it is the first of a new generation of DSV varieties to carry Harvest Max yield protection traits, specifically developed to give a new level of defense against harvest challenges, she explains.

“DSV Dart offers this through combining DSV’s longest and largest pods bred to date with new pod features alongside a short and compact canopy structure, allowing Dart to be quickly and efficiently combined with minimum seed loss.

“This new characteristic also helps to ensure quick and even dry down of the plant.

Other grower-friendly features include a prostrate growth habit which results in rapid weed-inhibiting ground cover meaning the variety is unlikely to need an autumn PGR.

“Flexibility in view of more variable growing conditions is also a key Dart characteristic.

Although ideally drilled in the optimum autumn window, the variety’s considerable vigour means it can safely be later drilled if weather conditions dictate this.

“Such a combination of real world traits, yield potential and reliability suggest Dart will lift the bar once more for oilseed varieties optimised for the UK’s current economic and environmental climate.”