Quartz: KWS UK launches new high-yielding OSR variety

A NEW oilseed rape that has produced six tonnes per hectare-plus gross outputs in official trails, together with a top rating for stem canker in a conventional variety, has been launched by KWS UK.

Quartz has an “exceptional” gross output of 108% of controls, says KWS, offering yields on a par with DK Cabernet and 2% ahead of newly recommended DK Camelot.

The company says this makes it a strong candidate for the 2013 East/West Recommended List, with a trial gross output that is almost 0.4t/ha ahead of Vision and 1t/ha ahead of Castille. As a result, the plant breeder has released seed of the new variety for this autumn’s plantings.

According to oilseed rape product manager Tom Dummett, Quartz has been really consistent in the two years it has currently been in trials.

“With stem canker resistance now a key feature in variety selection for those in mainstream rape growing regions in the southern half of the UK, its stand out characteristic is its 9-rating for this disease,” says Mr Dummett.

“This maximum rating is a major step forward, particularly where growers in these regions are adopting closer rotations that exacerbate disease risks.

“A superior stem canker score may help them adopt a more cost effective management approach to the disease compared to other varieties with weaker resistance ratings.

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“At the same time it allows the plant to focus its energies on yield production rather than fighting off phoma and the subsequent yield-robbing effects of stem canker.”

Mr Dummett says that Quartz also has the benefit of early maturity – in the mould of Castille – but unlike many other early maturing varieties, including Cash and DK Camelot, this doesn’t come at the expense of reduced yield.

“This early maturity will bring management advantages, helping growers to spread the combine workload and start to prepare ground for the following crop in good time,” he adds.

Quartz will be available from a number of leading seed merchants, including Openfield, Frontier and Agrii. It is expected to attract strong early order demand.