Earn a premium with HEAR varieties

A range of contract options for high-erucic acid rapeseed (HEAR) to earn growers a premium was unveiled at Cereals by Technology Crops.

Most represent an chance to earn £50-150/ha more than traditional double-low oilseed rape crops, which includes the additional cost of the seed, said company director Nigel Padbury.

“All of them are based on the produce of an area, rather than tonnage,” he added.

Most modern varieties of oilseed rape are double-low, being low in erucic acid in the rapeseed oil and glucosinolates in rapemeal – with these typically containing less than 2% erucic acid – whereas HEAR varieties contain 50-55% erucic acid.

The oil is used for a number of commercial applications such as industrial lubricants.

New “harvest and storage” contracts allow harvest movement, if required, and the freedom to price the crop at any time pre- or post-harvest.

For those who choose a pool option, four regular payments will be made throughout the year, with the final settlement in June.

“These contracts offer cashflow and storage space benefits to those growers who need them, but they are also very flexible. It’s a big change from the fixed contracts of the past,” he said.

HEAR crops currently in the ground are worth £435/t, he revealed.

Two winter HEAR varieties, Palmedor and Rejane, are available for autumn 2013 plantings, said Mr Padbury.

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