26 April 2001
Expert favours OSR over set-aside

By FWi staff

SOW spring oilseed rape rather than leave land fallow as set-aside, advises Peterborough-based seed specialist Dalton.

Margins from an early May-sown crop will be 150/ha better than fallow set-aside and leave the land in better shape, argues director James Wallace.

His calculations are based on a yield of 2t/ha (16cwt/acre) and a price of 130/t, less variable costs of 142/ha.

Cultivation costs this spring can be offset against easier to work soils and better crops in the autumn.

“Rape will put down a strong root system, breaking up the soil structure and pulling out excess moisture,” he says.

Velcourts Keith Norman says 2t/ha is at the top of the expected yield range from a May-sown crop.

Growers should only consider sowing if they are on schedule with other arable operations, he says.

A good seed-bed is needed, so cultivation costs will be 50-75/ha, he adds.

However, that figure includes fixed costs. Based on diesel alone the figure would be less than half that.

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