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News last update:14 Jan 2016

New growth regulator is first true PGR for oilseed rape

Most oilseed rape crops are further behind than in recent years, but using a growth regulator still offers benefits in achieving the right canopy to maximise the number of seeds.

Growers are in a very different situation this spring, says Agrovista technical manager Mark Hemmant. "Crops are much more variable, some are forward and will need holding back while most are backwards."

There is, therefore, an expectation by many growers that they won't need to use a growth regulator this season. "But some of these backward crops are nicely set to produce reasonable yields. How often do you see a poor crop then go on and produce some of your best yields," says Mr Hemmant. To maximise yields, crops will need managing to maximise the number of seed/sq m and this requires regulating growth to achieve the ideal plant canopy.

However, manipulating growth to achieve the ideal canopy is set to become easier this season with a new growth regulator. But unlike other growth regulators, BASF's Caryx has been specifically designed for oilseed rape instead of being an existing cereal fungicide that has had the label extended for use on rape, explains BASF field crops manager Will Reyer. "In addition, it is the only true growth regulator, rather than being a fungicide that happens to have growth regulatory properties."

Caryx has three key effects on the plant; it helps promote a better canopy, protects against lodging and promotes rooting. It fundamentally manages the use of energy in the plant, changing the hormone balance in two ways, inhibiting gibberellins and stimulating cytokinin production.

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