DSV achieved three highly significant firsts in the 2013/14 HGCA Recommended Lists –which not
only sets a new precedent for the company but also has implications for the direction of future
plant breeding, believes DSV UK managing director Mike Mann.
The company’s new hybrid semi-dwarf oilseed rape variety Troy is the highest yielding
semi-dwarf ever tested by the HGCA, Marathon has the highest overall seed yield and DSV’s first
ever UK wheat variety Chilton becomes the new group two top performer.
“The achievements of these three new varieties are significant in many ways,” he says. “For a
start it’s genuine testament to the breeding skills and insight of what is really still a
relatively small player in global breeding terms, but also because it shows the importance of
breeding strong genetics specifically for the UK.”
Against a backdrop of large areas of lodged crop and low yields last year due to adverse
weather conditions, Troy has the best combination of yield and standing power in the HGCA top ten
oilseed rape varieties nationally and is the highest yielding hybrid in the Northern region – which
bore the brunt of last year’s poor weather.
Not only does Marathon achieve top seed yield with 105% of the control it also has the best
stem and lodging characteristics of the top five yielding varieties on the list, following in the
footsteps of DSV’s hugely successful Compass variety.
As well as being the highest yielding group two winter wheat outright with an outstanding
quality profile, DSV’s new variety Chilton shows the most stable performance in the group with a
yield that has varied by a maximum of only 2% either side of its average over the last four years.
Other group two varieties have suffered yield fluctuations of up to 11% over the same
“The bottom line is these are ‘real world’ varieties developed to be tolerant of all sorts of
conditions and with an inherent genetic stability that lets them express their full potential in a
wide variety of locations and environmental ranges.
“As a breeder this is the direction we have been committed to for several years – developing
strong, versatile and dependable varieties that cope with adversity well – but as an industry, it
is something we have all now got to embrace.
“The world is changing, demands on agriculture are growing and there is strong evidence that
our weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable with greater fluctuations in rainfall and
temperature than ever.”
Growers are adapting to these changes in their management and breeders owe it to them to make
the same adjustments and focus more on varieties that give them security of production, Mike Mann
“The time when marketing varieties that can only perform well when conditions are just right
or using statistics based on highly favourable years, is rapidly coming to an end.“