Know How / Oilseed rape / Establishment

The first six weeks are vital for the success of any oilseed rape crop, when it is at the mercy of the weather, pests and weeds. Find out how to make the best use of latest techniques such as companion cropping, starter fertiliser and one-pass establishment systems to get the crop off to a good start.

Case studies

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PEST MANAGEMENT

Four OSR growers try different strategies to beat flea beetle

Despite its reputation for being a risky and expensive crop option, oilseed rape is currently enjoying better market prices and growing demand – but will that be enough to reverse…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Grower keeps OSR flea beetle-free with help from buckwheat

Hampshire farm manager Kevin Smith has kept his oilseed rape free of flea beetle damage through into spring by hiding the crop under a canopy of buckwheat. He tried out…

DRILLING

Why new Lincs heavy land AHDB Monitor Farm is going no till

A total turnaround marks the start of a farming couple's three-year stint as hosts of the AHDB’s new Lincolnshire Monitor Farm at Wainfleet, as they take the plunge and commit…

OILSEED RAPE

Yorkshire farm shares strategy for growing 4t/ha OSR

Oilseed rape has kept its place in the diverse rotation at Albanwise Farming in Yorkshire, where the focus is achieving consistent, optimum results. With about 350ha of the crop, the…

OILSEED RAPE

How two OSR growers escaped the flea beetle threat

The two growers in Hampshire and Wiltshire are both using a companion crop of buckwheat to protect their oilseed rape from cabbage stem flea beetle damage and are looking to…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Grower's precision drill helps counter flea beetle threat

Wiltshire grower Martin Smart has invested in a new precision drill to give his oilseed rape a head start after on-farm trials showed that direct drilling helped his crops survive…

Practical advice

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SOILS

How to reduce soil compaction and optimise crop yields

Compacted soils can typically yield 10-20% lower than healthy soils, which is why growers could benefit from a range of measures to cut compaction risks and avoid costly yield losses.…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Late drilling and companion crops works for Dorset OSR crop

Delayed drilling and companion cropping have helped to get oilseed rape off to an excellent start on Jim Farquharson’s Dorset farm, and so escape the clutches of the crop’s most…

COVER CROPS

5 top grower mistakes with cover crops and how to avoid them

Grow cover crops effectively and they can increase soil organic matter, cycle nutrients, protect soils from erosion and increase profitability. Get it wrong and you may see poorer establishment from…

OILSEED RAPE

Growers share their flea beetle strategies for OSR

The loss of neonicotinoid seed dressings has left many oilseed rape growers trying out alternative approaches to reduce the impact of cabbage stem flea beetle attacks, thereby avoiding crop losses.…

ESTABLISHMENT

How to carry out a pre-season check on a StocksAg seeder

It wasn’t long ago that the little applicator was a slug pellet only machine, but in recent years it has gained a new lease of life as a second seed…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

The best way to manage stubbles after harvest

Unless you are one of a growing number of no-tillers or you plough every year, it is difficult to be prescriptive when it comes to post-harvest cultivation strategy. There is…

Insights

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VARIETY SELECTION

How OSR establishment risk-share schemes compare

Money-back schemes designed to compensate growers for some of the economic risk associated with failed oilseed rape establishment are being offered on seed purchases of selected varieties again this year.…

OILSEED RAPE

Could companion cropping be the key to successful OSR crops?

Companion cropping could offer growers struggling to grow oilseed rape a successful method of reducing cabbage stem flea beetle risk, enabling them to establish the valuable break crop. The oilseed…

SOILS

Is regenerative agriculture the future of arable farming?

A growing number of farmers are overhauling their systems and are now farming in a way that has little impact on soil health, includes greater diversity and leads to more…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Why no-till is profitable despite having a yield penalty

As machinery costs are the main driver of arable profit, no-till farms can afford to produce 1t/ha less wheat than their more conventional counterparts. Speaking at the Groundswell event in June, accountant…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Plough, min-till and no-till compared: year one

A major trial has been set up to find the most profitable and sustainable way to grow arable crops by comparing three different establishment systems over five years. Establishment systems…

ESTABLISHMENT

Smart drill add-on offers real-time variable applications

A clever gadget that provides planter operators with real-time soil data for on-the-fly variable-rate seed and fertiliser applications could soon feature on UK farms after a recent Agco acquisition. Illinois-based…

ARABLE

Data reveals how raising crop yields can offset subsidy loss

Any reductions in support payments arising from Brexit can be covered on most UK arable farms by improved crop performance, results from ProCam’s 4Cast service suggest. The higher wheat yields…

ARABLE

Building a case for no-till crop establishment

Whether at grower meetings, hashtagged on your Twitter feed or even featured on BBC’s Countryfile on a Sunday evening, “no-till” enthusiasts are certainly making a lot of noise. Global grain…

Zero metaldehyde zones give mixed results

Mixed results have been reported by the water companies involved in the four zero metaldehyde pilot projects, resulting in some changes to the pilot schemes in the coming season. The…

OSR under threat as farmers question its future

As thoughts start to turn to cropping for the 2015-16 season, predictions suggest that oilseed rape will be the main casualty of rotational changes as farmers cut back or drop…