In this week’s podcast we look at the winner of this year’s Seed of the Year Award — L233P hybrid canola from BASF.

Canola designed to  reduce pod shatter has changed the way farmers do business. Jeff Mansiere and Stewart Brandt are two of the BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions plant breeders they have to thank for that.

Mansiere, Brandt and their breeding team are behind InVigor L233P hybrid canola from BASF. Launched in 2017, it’s the second Pod Shatter Reduction hybrid introduced by BASF and has been grown on more than 20 million acres across Canada. In both 2019 and 2020, InVigor L233P made up more than a quarter of the canola acres planted in Western Canada.

As a result, InVigor L233P has been selected by Germination’s editorial board as the 2021’s Seed of the Year — the first canola to win the honour in the award’s history.

“InVigor L233P was our opportunity to get a Pod Shatter Reduction hybrid into the hands of growers so they could experience the benefits,” Brandt says. “It did all that and more. As a plant breeder, you don’t ever expect a hybrid will become as popular as InVigor L233P has become. To say it had an impact would be an understatement.”

It is expected that by the end of the 2021 crop season, InVigor L233P will surpass InVigor 5440 for the most acres of InVigor grown by a single InVigor hybrid. The hybrid won the Canola Performance Trials (CPTs) straight cut trials in 2018 for the highest yield when averaged across all the growing zones.

By allowing canola seeds to fully mature while the crop is standing, Pod Shatter Reduction technology has been shown to increase yields by as much as five per cent in internal trials. It’s also made straight cutting canola far more practical. But perhaps most significantly, pod shatter reduction technology allows for more flexibility at harvest.