The AIC has reissued its voluntary code of practice on testing certified seed of oilseed rape and making the results available, ahead of the autumn planting season for the crop which starts next month.

The Association advises growers to be as diligent as possible to avoid problems and advises supply trade members to be prepared for customer requests for erucic acid test results.

Since November 2019, the legal limit for erucic acid in oilseed rape oil has been 2%. The AIC’s Combinable Crops Seeds Committee and working group, supported by the British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB), created the voluntary code of practice in 2018 to support best practice for both farmer customers and the wider oilseed chain. All new double low and HOLL oilseed rape varieties are tested for erucic acid levels as a requirement for registration. Results are consistently close to zero.

The Code of Practice states the following: “All testing of seed and seed lots undertaken at any stage prior to delivery of certified seed onto farm should be undertaken using the Gas Chromatography test (GC) – which can be accurate down to 0.1%.

“Results from a GC test should be available on request. Companies may determine the route by which this is achieved (website, email, written notification). Companies are free to make available test results other than on request.”

The AIC and BSPB are again encouraging their members to consider participation. “Taking part is highly recommended,” says Catherine Barrett, head of arable and seed at AIC. “The code of conduct is a means of delivering reassurance across the agrisupply chain. Participation lets you demonstrate that all certified seed is fit for purpose.”