Oilseed rape growers can see Avatar - the top gross output candidate variety from National List trials taken into this year’s Recommended List trials - on the innovative WatchITGROW web site that shows exactly what is happening on demonstration plots on farms spread across the main oilseed rape growing areas, from East Anglia through Lincolnshire to Yorkshire.
“We set up this site with the objective of allowing potential growers to make their own decision with the help of farmers in their area who are already growing the variety,” explains Tom Nickerson of Ebbage Seeds, marketing agent for breeders LSPB.
“The value of the site is increasing as the pictures are added for each farm as the growing season progresses and up to harvest.
“Growers can look at their nearest WatchITGROW site to see the location, soil type, drilling date, cultivations and other crop details – then go back regularly as the pictures build up through the season.”
Avatar has good agronomic qualities with good stem stiffness and medium height. It has good disease resistance for Light leaf spot and for Stem canker plus good autumn vigour – comparable to current leading varieties – and similar spring vigour and flowering time. Also, it is early maturing – important to spread the harvest load. This makes it ideal for the big milling wheat growers who can get their oilseed rape into the shed to be ready for their wheat.
“The web site can be found at www.watchitgrow.co.uk and growers and agronomists interested in Avatar can click on the red dots on the map of England, then click ‘more information’ to get a feel of how it is performing in each area,” adds Mr Nickerson.