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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How the new Monitor Farm plans to scrutinise cropping costs

The AHDB’s new Wisbech Monitor Farm hosts, father and son Andrew and Sam Melton, are focusing on the challenges to profitability as they start their three-year stint as part of…


Longer rotations and soil moisture at heart of OSR success

Suffolk grower Samuel Steward grows his oilseed rape crop in a six-year rotation and is achieving yields of more than 4t/ha with a firm focus on drilling seed into adequate…


How farmers are growing Scotland's first organic OSR crop

Organic oilseed rape is a profitable crop for many growers in Scandinavia and it could soon be a valuable earner for Scottish farmers if a pilot trial proves to be…


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…

Practical advice

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4 tips to monitor insect populations to aid pest management

Identifying and monitoring insect populations can benefit growers, providing them with knowledge of the abundance of species on farm so a pest management system can be integrated. Mark Ramsden, senior…


Oilseed rape variety choice is key to beat beetle threat

Variety choice is the most vital factor for oilseed rape growers to help cope with cabbage stem flea beetle damage, with a preference for varieties with fast growth in the…


The drastic action growers can take to save oilseed rape

Oilseed rape growers may have to abandon the crop for two years and then return with longer rotations if the valuable break crop is to survive in the long term.…


New climate module predicts cereal growth and disease risk

Cereal growers can now benefit from a climate prediction module that uses weather data to forecast key growth stage timings of crops to improve input efficacy and plan workloads. The…


How to measure insect numbers for integrated pest control

Identifying the number and nature of the insects within an arable field is critical to make natural predators part of an integrated pest management plan. Promoting beneficial insects is one…


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…


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How farmers can benefit from new way of paying agronomists

Farmers will soon be able to share the production risk of their arable crops with their agronomist using the country’s first payment-by-results agronomy service. Up to now, agronomic advice in…


OSR seed dressing offers hope for flea beetle control

The only oilseed rape insecticide seed dressing with activity against the industry’s most damaging pest, cabbage stem flea beetle, can improve crop autumn establishment and increase yields by nearly 10%.…


Expert advice on maximising OSR yields in a difficult season

After such a wet autumn and winter, the big question over oilseed rape this spring is: "What can farmers do to maximise yields in a very difficult season for oilseed…


New fungicide available for sclerotinia control in OSR

Oilseed rape growers are set to benefit from a new fungicide this season which controls sclerotinia at flowering, with yield increases of up to 0.4t/ha over existing farm-standard treatments. Aviator,…


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…

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