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Seed breeder Grainseed says small amounts of new conventional oilseed rape Pi Pinnacle are available for planting this autumn. Peak performance from rape variety Pinnacle

Seed breeder Grainseed says small amounts of new conventional oilseed rape Pi Pinnacle are available for planting this autumn.

Yielded 103% of controls,  Pinnacle – or Pi 41.7 – is the highest yielding conventional variety selected as a candidate for the Agriculture and Horticulture Deveopment Board’s 2024 Recommended List.

Grainseed general manager Neil Groom says: “A variety such as Pinnacle offers growers peak yields and peak profits. We have a small amount of seed for this autumn if growers would like to try it. We have high hopes for this variety in the future.”

Pinnacle was bred by independent breeder Mike Pickford, who focused on keeping the plant green and building yield at the end of the season. He increased yield by selecting a high number of pods per plant, a high number of seeds in a pod and larger seeds.

Top performer

Bred in the Cotswolds, Pinnacle is fully adapted to UK conditions. It has good agronomic characteristics with similar vigour and biomass to many hybrids. It also shows rapid growth during the stem elongation phase, helped by seed treatments.

The variety scores 9 for lodging resistance, 8 for stem stiffness, 7 for light leaf spot and 6 for phoma. It has good verticillium resistance and maintains clean green stems when ripening – encouraging efficient photosynthesis during the ripening grain filling process.

Medium to late flowering reduces the risk of flower loss due to late frosts but Pinnacle is still medium when it comes to grain maturity, allowing crops to be harvested before the first wheats are ready to cut.

“If growers are looking to reduce costs as much as possible, growing a high performing conventional variety can enable you to do this,” says Neil Groom, general manager for Grainseed.

Harvest timing

Pinnacle has large seed and is packed in bags containing 2  million seeds with Integral Plus and Sylas for optimum establishment, says Grainseed.

The top hybrid in 2023 is Turing which has a yield of 106%.

With a good hybrid costing £230 per 1.5 million seeds, equivalent to 3ha sown at 50 seeds/m², a grower can by  2.2 bags of Pinnacle for the same price, which is equivalent to 5.5ha at 80 seeds/m², explains Mr Groom.

“There is plenty of moisture in the ground at the moment, so drilling rape will surely have a positive outcome.Most farms are now clearing all their wheat crops and the balers are tight behind the combine allowing rape to be drilled now.

“I am advising growers to drill companion plants with their rape and use placement fertiliser to aid early growth.”