4 September 2001
Take care with early OSR – breeder

By FARMERS WEEKLY staff

AS OILSEED rape drilling gets underway, growers should take extra precautions against weeds and diseases, a leading oilseed breeder has warned.

Liz Williams of CPB Twyford says there could be plenty of phoma inoculum waiting to cross the bridge from last seasons stubbles.

Many of this years crops are being sown early into moist warm seed-beds, she adds, so the chances of infecting the new leaves are high.

“I have nothing against sowing early, but it just means you have to be very careful to keep on top of your weed and disease control programmes.”

The conditions are also right for early weed growth to stifle the young crop, so growers are advised to apply herbicide as soon as possible after drilling.

Early drilling does have its advantages, however. Good crop growth which competes with the weeds could be all that is required this season.

Meanwhile, in the larger plants expected, phoma infection will take longer to move to the stems where it eventually causes canker, widening the treatment window.

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