Two Yorkshire growers win lowest-cost oilseed rape competition

Two Yorkshire oilseed rape growers were the top performers in a Monsanto competition to find those who produce the crop at the lowest cost.

Richard Wainwright of Birch Farm, Oswaldkirk, north of York, and Michael Denis of Elms Farm, Pickburn, near Doncaster, both produced 5t/ha+ crops of oilseed rape in 2015, keeping their production costs to just over £130/t.

Winners Richard-Wainright (left) and Michael Denis (right) © George Chancellor

Winners Richard-Wainright (left) and Michael Denis (right) © George Chancellor

With very similar results, they were almost impossible to separate. However, after consideration the judges awarded first prize to Mr Wainwright for his larger crop area, with the announcement being made at Cereals 2016.

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His 30ha crop of the variety Expower yielded 5.46t/ha over the weighbridge with an average 44.7% oil content, giving a gross output of 5.63t/ha.

Input costs for the crop were £474/ha and operational costs were £266/ha, giving a total production cost of £136/t of yield, or £131/t of gross output.

Mr Denis’s 13ha crop of Extrovert yielded 5.21t/ha at 46.2% oil content, giving a gross output of 5.43t/ha.

His input costs were £444/ha, which together with operational costs of £256/ha gave a production cost of £136/t of yield and £131/t of gross output.

Will Vaughan-France, Monsanto’s technical expert, congratulated both growers and pointed out that this performance supports the continuing place for oilseed rape in rotations, even at low market prices.

“Both are excellent examples of how to achieve the financial and environmental resilience needed in the current economic climate,” he said.

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