Know How / Oilseed rape / Crop management

Once it’s up and away, oilseed rape needs careful management and the right nutrition throughout the growing season to ensure it fulfills its potential. See what can be done to maximise output, put a lid on growing costs and keep the crop photosynthesising as it reaches maturity and fills its seeds.

Case studies

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Kent grower shares secret to rapeseed world-record yield

Drilling oilseed rape late to avoid pest damage and adverse weather has helped Kent grower Richard Budd break the rapeseed yield world record. Farming with his father, David, at Stevens…


OSR yields rise after fertiliser cut by 30% on Shropshire farm

Shropshire grower Matthew Williams has increased his oilseed rape yields while also cutting his fertiliser costs by fully utilising the residual nitrogen in his soil. Mr Williams’ OSR yields increased…


How a YEN winner grew top-yielding wheat and OSR crops

Award-winning winter wheat and oilseed rape yields are being produced by Lincolnshire grower Mark Stubbs from a farm that just six years ago was seeing yields being strangled by a bad blackgrass…


Sheep grazing eliminates need for rapeseed growth regulators

While defoliating oilseed rape crops may offer benefits for the control of cabbage stem flea beetle, it could also help growers cut their growth regulator and fungicide inputs. Oilseed rape…


Mixed farm invests in direct drill for shift to no-till

Hefty spending on a new cereal drill and a robotic milking system demonstrates how one big Shropshire estate is looking to leave farming a in better shape for the next…


How Cambs grower has halved glyphosate use

A Cambridgeshire farmer has dramatically halved the amount of glyphosate used, and this year he successfully grew some of his oilseed rape without using the herbicide. Glyphosate is the most…

Practical advice

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How to increase beneficial insects in arable crops

Leaving volunteers and native weeds in crop stubbles over winter will help encourage beneficial insects by providing shelter and forage when there is no standing crop. Sally-Ann Spence, entomologist and…


How to tackle weeds after a tough start to the season

It is shaping up to be a tough spring for controlling weeds, as the legacy of the wet autumn and winter means many crops are at greater risk of yields…


Why surviving oilseed rape crops are worth persevering with

Oilseed rape growers should persevere with their crops this spring and apply early nitrogen fertiliser, to help combat low soil mineral nitrogen levels after the wet winter. Many crops have…


How to control phoma disease in oilseed rape crops

Phoma stem canker is a highly damaging disease in oilseed rape, with Fera Science's CropMonitor estimating losses at £100m each season in the UK. Early-season epidemics are capable of decimating…


How to avoid the top 5 nutrient deficiencies in OSR

Correcting micronutrient deficiencies in oilseed rape can raise yields by an average 0.3t/ha, according to trials, helping growers get even more from a crop that is proving to be increasingly…


How Yen growers delivered monster OSR and cereal yields

A winter wheat crop by Lincolnshire grower Mark Stubbs yielded 16.3t/ha to take the top prize in the Adas-organised Yield Enhancement Network (Yen) competition in 2019. Following good use of…


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OSR defoliation tackles flea beetle but yields suffer

Topping or grazing oilseed rape with sheep over winter can reduce flea beetle larvae numbers by up to 44%, according to new research. The trial by Innovative Farmers saw eight…


How farmers may benefit from new way of paying for pesticides

Paying for pesticides and seed based on the yield responses seen in the field could help farmers manage some of the risks of growing crops and trying out new technologies.…


How farmer trials club targets fungicide use and crop nutrition

Getting locally relevant trials data is challenging and no area demonstrates this better than the fertile Grade 1 silts of south Lincolnshire. These high-yielding soils may be the envy of…


Why more trials are needed to fill applied research gap

A lack of independent applied research in the UK arable sector is prompting calls for more on-farm trials to solve its most pressing practical problems. For many years after the…


Why herbal leys have been added to arable rotation trial

The benefits of adding sugar beet and herbal leys in arable rotations are being investigated in a long-term rotational study in Suffolk, reflecting the changing challenges faced by growers.  After…


Defoliation reduces flea beetle larvae numbers by 61%

An on-farm trial of defoliation methods in West Sussex has reduced cabbage stem flea beetle larvae numbers by up to 61% this spring. Larvae numbers in grower Paul Helyer’s oilseed…


What the new TuYV-resistant varieties mean for OSR yields

Two new varieties on the Recommended List this year offer growers the opportunity to protect their crops from the turnip yellows virus while also achieving top yields. When the first…


How Clearfield varieties can tackle erucic acid in OSR

Rapeseed exceeding erucic acid limits continues to be a problem for crushers, resulting in farmers facing deductions or even rejections of loads. Erucic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid…


How N-fixing breakthrough will slash fertiliser use

A specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, isolated from sugar cane in Brazil and capable of colonising plant roots, is being developed into a technology that could reduce the farming industry’s…


How French spraying tech can slash herbicide spend by 80%

French kit maker Kuhn is moving into high-tech solutions such as spot-spraying, offering farmers dramatically increased application accuracy and decreased production costs. It is in response to more established competitors bringing…


Trial aims to identify most valuable technology for growers

A farm-scale trial of technology could provide data to help justify payments for environmental measures taken on farm in the future, while also improving the quality of advice given by…


A round-up of enhanced urea fertilisers and additives

Enhanced urea fertilisers and urease additives could soon have a greater role on arable farms as the government looks to slash ammonia losses through its Clean Air Strategy. The UK…

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