by Bruce Harrison, Viterra

Viterra-300 Tom Kubik, Viterra’s XCEED® breeder

Years of research by the Viterra Research and Development team in Saskatoon, SK has resulted in the launch of its first Brassica juncea canola hybrid, XCEED®VT X121 CL. The product was built using the J-Tech Hybrid System, a patent pending platform created by Viterra scientists.

Western Canadian canola farmers in the traditionally drier brown and dark brown soil regions can now look forward to a canola quality Brassica juncea hybrid with the Clearfield® tolerance trait. While a number of Brassica napus canola hybrids exist, there have only been open pollinated varieties of Brassica juncea available until now. Harnessing the power of hybrid vigor, the new variety offers improved yield and overall plant hardiness.

Through extensive research trials in 2012, it was demonstrated that VT X121 CL has a yield potential equal to Brassica napus Clearfield® hybrids grown in the same soil zone. VT X121 CL offers a 20 percent yield increase over previous Brassica juncea open-pollinated canola varieties. “The opportunity for increased yield will be attractive to canola growers,” says Ryan McCann, Manager of Viterra’s Seed Commercialization division.

Increased heat and drought tolerance is inherent to the Brassica juncea species. This is evident in the new hybrid, which will prove to have a significant advantage over Napus canola grown in the more stress-prone regions. “This hybrid provides improved yields, better tolerance to heat, drought, and a reduction in green seed that result in more predictable yield stability.” says Tom Kubik, Viterra’s XCEED® breeder.

The new variety also features tighter seed pods, which is a great advantage at harvest. The pods exhibit exceptional shatter resistance, so the crop can be straight cut which saves both time and fuel. In Western Canada, XCEED® also qualifies for natural, expeller-pressed oil premiums. The new hybrid is being launched simultaneously in Western Canada, Australia and the U.S. with limited quantities available for this year’s spring planting season.

Viterra Ag Retail centers will be selling VT X121 CL, but it’s anticipated to sell out this season. Viterra suggests that producers contact their local Ag Retails early to guarantee a supply for spring. Research continues at the Viterra Research and Development center with new hybrid developments on the horizon.

Viterra continues to focus on producing seed products that are compatible with regional growing conditions and provide the grower with an edge in the marketplace. Testing of further new hybrids will occur in grower strip trials known as the Viterra Agronomy System Trials (VAST) in 2013. Check with your local Ag Retail for a schedule of VAST tours this summer.  


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