Oilseed rape drilling steps up a gear

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With drilling of oilseed rape crops stepping up a gear thanks to recent wet weather, farmers are having to move quickly and make any final variety decisions.

Richard Torr, Wynnstay Seed Sales Manager, explains what lessons can be learnt from this year’s harvest to aid with decision making.

“Harvest results for 2016 are showing that conventional oilseed variety Campus, is coming up with the goods, achieving gross output yields of 113%. Elgar has also shown itself as a strong competitor achieving 109%. Wembley has yielded 108% again, this shows only a 1% variation in the last four years of trials, an incredibly consistent record for a crop prone to variability.

“When looking at variety choice, yield potential, reliability, disease resistance, and vigour should all be considerations, as well as weed control. Ultimately, you want a variety that you know delivers in your area.”

Weed issues can be a major yield limiting factor for growers, as Charlock and Runch have caused problems which have previously made crops uneconomic. “Clearfield oilseed rape varieties such as Veritas CL provide an opportunity to avoid this issue as they have been bred to be used in conjunction with Clearfield herbicides. They’ve been popular and we’ve seen a huge increase this autumn.”

Richard concludes, “Ultimately, the most important thing when looking at crop and variety choice, is to choose what suits your system, and get farm-specific advice.”

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