Substantial premiums are available for quality linseed, but it will be the choice of variety that determines the desirability and final value to individual buyers. Over the last two years the most valuable samples have achieved premiums of 30% above the base crushing prices for industrial use.
Varieties need to be matched to farm situations, as their individual agronomic characteristics can be significant. We have Bingo & Brighton which is a superb variety from the same breeder as Bilton and before that Biltstar. Brighton has a HGCA list topping yield over 4 years in trials, very stiff straw and is far earlier than any thing else with a comparable yield. This line of varieties has also shown itself to be vigorous in establishment and growth as well as easy to harvest. Marmalade is the top selling yellow skinned linseed throughout Europe and is exclusively sold by Robin Appel Ltd, often trading at £60/tonne premium over brown seed. It delivers good yields comparable to many varieties grown currently in the UK.
The marketing of oilseed rape is more straightforward than most commodities, with few markets to choose from and standardised contract terms. Consequently, varietal choice is based upon agronomic factors rather than consumer preference.
Choice of variety is based on a comparison of agronomic characteristics designed to meet individual growers conditions and still deliver the highest output. Within this choice new hybrid varieties are winning an increasing market share because of their adaptability. Trials currently demonstrate no yield advantage from hybrids over conventional varieties. But, in practice, hybrid’s indifference to nutrient, temperature and rainfall variation is providing growers with consistently high yields. Equally important is good autumn & spring vigour and high oil content, because of the accompanying bonuses!