A NEW initiative designed to boost average yields and improve the quality of winter oilseed rape crops has been launched by Banks Cargill Agriculture.

Growers taking up the “Pure Yield” initiative will be expected to grow the crop according to a protocol reflecting best practice in oilseed rape management.

“The Pure Yield initiative aims to increase overall yield, oil content and oil quality through the use of the latest varieties and technologies,” explained the firm‘s Charlie Whitmarsh.

The scheme will be piloted on 15 farms across England this year, with the aim of expanding coverage significantly in the future, he said.

The current average yield of winter oilseed rape over the UK is around 3.3t/ ha, but he believes it is possible to increase this to 4t/ ha and beyond.

“Our objective is to get people up to average yields of 5t/ ha across the farm,” he said.

“We are going to work with this group of pioneering farmers to improve the best practice protocol.”