KWS Django: the oilseed rape that is a fit for your farm


Unbelievably stiff, good all-round disease resistance, mid-maturity and top-draw yield make Django a compelling variety proposition

We all know there is more to variety choice than just yield potential. It is often about how a variety fits your farm and management practices. Characteristics such as vigour, stem stiffness and maturity date are often just as important as yield potential when considering variety choice.

For many growers the threat of cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) and the need to drill early, even if conditions are less than ideal, means early vigour is a must-have characteristic. In such situations, conventional types have more flexibility to tweak seed rates to reflect conditions t han their hybrid counterparts .

But the list of qualities doesn’t stop there. Just as with wheat variety selection , good disease resistance is a necessity too .

For oilseed rape to pay its way it has to deliver impressive yields. But this is difficult to achieve if a fear of lodging means avoiding fertile sites or holding back on nutrients. S tanding power is another important consideration.

Lodged crops are a management headache, so where possible avoid anything with a low stem stiffness score and, instead shortlist those varieties least prone to lodging.

For many growers, the final consideration concerns managing the harvest workload. This is most easily achieved through maturity date.

It is simple and logical approaches to variety selection that has seen the AHDB Recommended List candidate variety for the UK, Django sown on 20,000 hectares across England last autumn.

A conventional variety, its combination of characteristics put it a head of many other varieties on the Recommended List.

It matched the two highest-yielding varieties in the 2018-19 Recommended List trials, including hybrids and other conventional types, with a UK-wide average yield of 106% of controls.

Its yield potential will be what captured growers’ attention, but it is its easy-to-manage versatility on farm that will truly endear it to farmers.

Arguably the stiffest variety available – it is the shortest non-semi dwarf variety in trials – seed rates can be manipulated at sowing to reflect seedbed conditions and pest pressures without fear of inducing lodging later in the season.

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