Spring Oilseed Rape 2019

Spring Oilseed Rape 2019

A rise in spring drilling is expected in 2019 as a direct result of the winter oilseed rape area dropping to around 580,000 ha. One effect of the prolonged dry conditions which made establishment even more challenging than normal.

These warmer than normal conditions also saw higher levels of oilseed rape pests with flea beetles causing significant crop losses and the peach potato aphid transmitting higher levels of TuYV virus than we have seen in previous year.

Spring oilseed rape crops deliver excellent gross margins opportunities - spring sown crops allow flexibility in the rotation following a late harvest - which often means poor weather conditions, and in general allows growers an excellent opportunity to sort out pernicious weed problems, such as blackgrass, while fields lie fallow through the winter.

his is a key benefit compared to winter oilseed rape which offer few cultural control measures to reduce grass weed numbers and relies heavily on agro-chemistry. The advent of CLICK CL - Clearfield spring osr - also opens another avenue for the control of broadleaf weeds. While peas and beans offer advantages in terms of ‘free’ nitrogen, they are often difficult to fit in a rotation, and can be very poor in a bad harvest year and values can be ‘difficult’.

Growers can easily be tempted to drill too early (February) when both temperature and day length will act against the newly sown seedling. Plants will emerge too slowly and may not be able to outcompete the weed pressure and outgrow pest attack. Drilling oilseed rape at the end of March/ early April means less pressure is put on both man and machine. Spring osr only requires around 150 days to grow; therefore Phoma isn’t a problem due to its short vegetative stage and specific temperature requirements. The occurrence of fungal diseases are much less than in winter rape, so disease control is rarely necessary.

The main disease growers and agronomist need to be aware of are Alternaria and Botrytis but these can be easily controlled with use of a fungicide. Even pigeons tend to be less interested in spring OSR, as it grows so quickly and of course there are other food sources available in the spring.​

You can read this update from DSV UK on TFF's AGVendor...

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...