Best OSR in the North, says United Oilseeds

Oilseed rape yields are above average, with the best crops in the North and poorer crops further south, according to Owen Cligg, trading manager at United Oilseeds.

“In the South, there are a lot of crops yielding 3t/ha, while in Scotland there are many at 4t/ha,” he said. “It’s a bit of a role reversal from last year.”

Overall, Mr Cligg expected national yields to average 3.5t/ha, compared to the five year average of about 3.3t/ha.

“Oil contents and quality are generally good, averaging about 45% oil and without the admixture problems we had last year.”

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However, the heavy rain and strong winds this week could have caused some damage in remaining crops, he added.

“There has been some hail damage, and the crops that are left to cut are ripe now, so there may be some losses in Scotland and northern England.”

Mr Cligg attributed some of this year’s more disappointing yields to growing rapeseed in too tight a rotation.

“Where it’s been grown on a long rotation the yields are a lot better – on tighter rotations fungal disease is likely to have been more prevalent,” he said.

“While Light Leaf Spot can be well controlled by fungicides, Verticilium Wilt is less easy to control and has hit some crops hard.”

Mr Cligg said very little spring oilseed rape had been planted this year, but expected any spring rape crops to be harvested from now onwards, weather permitting.