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Erucic acid contamination in rapeseed shows big decrease - NIABTAG Network News, September 2019

Pre-testing Farm Saved Seed oilseed rape samples for Erucic Acid content has paid off by significantly reducing the level of erucic acid in UK crops according to NIABTAG's Simon Kightley in this months NIABTAG Network News....

"The report that we produced for AHDB last year, on erucic acid contamination in rapeseed highlighted volunteers, exacerbated by farm-saving, as the principal cause. This led to a major increase in sample testing at NIAB’s Cambridge laboratory in the run up to sowing last season, with 915 samples analysed. This activity seems to have paid off, with growers and/or seed producers appearing to discard samples with indications of elevated erucic acid content, rather than use for re-planting.
The chart shows that the proportion of samples in the <0.1% category, which we regard as the genetic base in modern varieties, has gone up from 44% in 2018 to 74% in 2019, based on 963 tests this year. Proportions in all the other erucic acid categories identified in the chart have pretty well halved, with the samples above 10% virtually disappearing altogether.

This is very encouraging indeed and, if reflected in commercial samples going for crushing, shows that the problem of contamination can be largely controlled by routine checking of seed for sowing."

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Report reproduced with the kind permission of Simon Kightley.

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