04 May 2015 | Online since 2003

6 July 2012|News

Managing Verticillium wilt in oilseed rape

Verticillium wilt has become a widespread disease problem in oilseed rape, particularly in the Eastern counties, the South and Midlands, and with no proven chemical cure, the only way to manage it is through cultural control methods including the use of resistant varieties.

Dr. Peter Gladders of ADAS advises that farms with this problem need to manage it through better agronomy and resistant varieties. “The initial approach is to grow crops as well as you can. Robust plants with stronger root systems are more resilient to infection. The second string to your bow is to grow resistant varieties. Widening the rotation is not a practical option as the pathogen can survive in the soil for over ten years. Verticillium also tends to be at higher incidence on lighter land and in crops established by minimal tillage, the most common way of establishing rape nowadays.”

He suggests that growers should be inspecting their own crops now and assessing their individual risk in order to decide whether to grow resistant varieties or call in other aspects of crop management. “Symptoms are just starting to appear in the field and are seen as premature ripening and pale green/yellowing pod colour. On the stem long vertical light brown stripes run the length of the stem and then develop into long vertical grey pin stripes with black microsclerotia on the stem surface. The disease impact is premature ripening and subsequent yield loss. Although yield loss in the UK has been found to be variable, in Sweden reports of up to 50% yield loss have been seen in some years.”

ADAS trials have indicated wide variation between varieties for resistance to Verticillium wilt. Dr Gladders thinks that the genetic resistance is multigene and that certain breeders including Grainseed have the necessary breeding stock that has this resistant capacity.

Neil Groom, Technical Director of Grainseed, confirms that the company do have a strong breeding portfolio of Verticillium resistant rape varieties including Es Agatha and Es Alienor. “Screening work in the UK and France has demonstrated significant differences between rape varieties grown under the same conditions. Alienor and Agatha appear to be able to resist Verticillium very well, much better than other varieties such as Castille and Excalibur that are very badly affected by this disease. Dr. Gladders has warned that growing susceptible varieties too widely can build up the pathogen in the soil for the future.”

Both Alienor and Agatha are particularly vigorous in the autumn and can be grown together on the farm, as Alienor is early maturing and Agatha a little later, so harvest can be spread, points out Neil.

With tighter rotations, more Verticillium being seen in oilseed rape crops and the main way of minimising this disease being the use of resistant varieties, growers should seriously consider planting Alienor and Agatha this autumn, particularly as we have no proven in-field chemical treatments to fall back on, he says.

“Alienor is already a popular variety because of its very early maturity and vigour. It matures 7-10 days earlier than Castille, allowing plenty of opportunity for seedbed preparation and stale seedbeds as well as for timely entry for autumn drilled crops. Its strong Verticillium wilt resistance, confirmed by Dr Peter Gladders trials, adds another important benefit. Alienor has a 7 rating for Phoma stem canker and a 6 rating for Light Leaf Spot, giving it a combined disease resistance package that is hard to beat.“

“New this year, the conventional variety Agatha is also a strong performer, with exceptional Verticillium wilt resistance combined with high yields and oil content. In fact Agatha was one of the best Verticillium resistant varieties in trials. It yields well at 106% and has consistently outperformed DK Cabernet and Sesame in a number of trials. It also delivers a high oil content of 45.1%” points out Neil Groom.



No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.


15 April 2015
Marketing Manager
Agriculture, Commercial Property, Residential property, Personal Injury and Compensation, Company and Commercial, Wills Trust...

17 April 2015
Senior Manager, Financial Analysis
? Maintenance of securities provided by offshore wind farm developers. Specific minimum qualifications and expertise....

30 April 2015
Hygiene Coordinator - Food
Food Manufacturing, Dairy, Fruit, High Care, High Risk,. Our client, a very successful and rapidly expanding food manufacture...

17 April 2015
Poultry Farm Hand
Please contact Jacqui Lanning on 01404 841663 or Paul Jesty, Farm Manager 07813 173203. PART TIME POULTRY FARM HAND REQUIRED ...

30 April 2015
Product Development Technologist - Dairy
Product Development Technologist - Dairy. WCM, World Class Manuacturing, Lean, Production, Food, Product Development, Technol...

Top stories you may have missed
10 April 2015 | Agri Safety

The permanent eradication of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea [BVD] in Scottish cattl...

10 April 2015 | Dairy

The abolition of milk quotas in Europe on 1st April has resulted in a numbe...

10 April 2015 | Cattle

The top 14 milk producing countries in Europe will increase their productio...

10 April 2015 | News

Matt Ware is the NFU's head of government and parliamentary affairs, based ...

10 April 2015 | Arable

There is a 'desperate need' to improve farmgate returns given low incomes a...

9 April 2015 | Arable

Rapid stem extension, after a slow start to spring, is likely to create spl...

9 April 2015 | Finance

The time has come for landlords to expect to see reductions in farm rents, ...

8 April 2015 | Cattle

Cogent’s reputation as a source of the highest calibre sires has been enhan...

8 April 2015 | Arable

The spread of exotic and aggressive strains of a plant fungus is presenting...

7 April 2015 | Animal Health

The FSA’s new Food Crime Unit wants the industry to share information, some...