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Breeding oilseed rape with a low requirement for nitrogen fertiliser - LK0979

Oilseed rape receives more nitrogen fertiliser than almost any other arable crop, but the amount of nitrogen removed in the seed is relatively small. The high fertiliser requirement represents a large growing cost and, because of the high energy input and by-products produced during its manufacture, it causes significant green house gas emissions to be associated with growing the crop. The nitrogen rich crop residues also cause a high risk of nitrate leaching. These factors reduce the viability of oilseed rape for biodiesel and food production. Because there is known genetic variability in the N requirement of oilseed rape which has not previously been tapped, prospects are good for breeding oilseed rape with a low N fertiliser requirement. It is estimated that the N fertiliser requirement of high yielding crops can be halved. Before commercial breeding can proceed, methods of rapidly screening for low N requirement and its underlying traits must be developed, and suitable sources of genetic variation must be identified.
To improve the viability of UK oilseed rape for biodiesel and food production by reducing green house gas emissions, nitrate leaching and financial costs associated with growing the crop.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2011

Cost: £483,674
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Nottingham, University - Warwick, Northeast Biofuels, BASF plc, Syngenta Crop Protection UK Ltd, Nickerson UK Ltd, Terra Nitrogen UK Ltd, Home Grown Cereals Authority, BP Oil international Ltd, Elsoms Seeds Ltd, ADAS UK Ltd., Saaten-Union Ltd
Arable Farming              
Biotech-non GM              
Crop Improvement              
Water Pollution