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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OILSEED RAPE

How top oilseed rape growers achieve high yields

Two leading Scottish Borders oilseed rape growers’ focus on crop establishment and nutrition has led them to push their average farm yields towards the 5t/ha barrier. David Fuller manages 650ha…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Farm manager's drought action plan results in 15% yield lift

Simon Eddell has spent the past seven years looking to improve his light Suffolk soils to cope with summer droughts, and the result is healthier crops and wheat yields up…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How four arable farmers made their farms more resilient

Tough times are ahead after Brexit and having a more resilient cropping system will be the key to arable farms weathering the storms. Here we take a look at how four…

OILSEED RAPE

How drought and pests have challenged our four OSR growers

Very dry soils and persistent cabbage stem flea beetle activity have made oilseed rape establishment more challenging than expected for most of our Oilseed Rape Masters this season. In the…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Why wheat is £10/t cheaper to produce with no-till approach

No-till farmers produce wheat for £10/t less than their conventional counterparts, according to a benchmarking exercise of 12 farms in East Anglia. Accountancy expert Gary Markham says that the combination…

OILSEED RAPE

OSR growers focus on costs and yields for next season

With oilseed rape crops taking advantage of the much-needed May sunshine, our four growers taking part in our OSR Masters series are keeping a close eye on crop progress as…

Practical advice

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PEST MANAGEMENT

Tips on how to beat flea beetle when growing oilseed rape

A combination of only drilling when there is soil moisture, selecting the right variety and giving seedlings a nutritional boost are some of the measures helping crops cope better with…

OILSEED RAPE

Four critical months to minimise OSR yield losses

Oilseed rape yields can vary by more than 1t/ha between seasons and researchers have identified ways that farmers can manage their crops to minimise seasonal effects. While the yield trend…

COVER CROPS

How a Dorset farmer grows cost-effective cover crops

Dorset grower John Martin, together with Kings Seeds, has designed his own cover crop mix, which provides the maximum benefit to his calcareous soils while also being cost-effective. He was…

OILSEED RAPE

Drought and pests give rapeseed growers a tough start

Establishing vigorously growing plants and using companion crops could help oilseed rape growers cope in the future with the drought and pest problems seen in the summer of 2018. Lack…

PLOUGHING AND CULTIVATION

Tips on selecting the right cultivator for your soils

Farmers often put a huge amount of effort into selecting the right drill to get cereal crops off to the best start in the autumn, but picking the wrong cultivator…

WEED MANAGEMENT

How to control weeds when establishing oilseed rape

Controlling weeds in oilseed rape is vital for successful establishment, as the seedlings are vulnerable to competition from vigorous weeds. This is especially the case in a dry autumn when…

Insights

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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…