Oilseed rape crops have recovered remarkably well from the late start to spring this season and although cautiously optimistic, iOSR growers at Cereals 2018 remain only too aware that nothing is assured until it’s safely harvested.
iOSR growers at Cereals were feeling cautiously optimistic for oilseed rape crops this season, but only too aware that nothing is assured until it’s safely harvested.
Oilseed rape crops have recovered remarkably well from the late start to spring this season, according to iOSR growers at Cereals. Green leaf area is, for the most part, healthy and plants standing well.
“All we need now is some good prolonged sunshine through to harvest,” reported Lincolnshire-based Chris Baylis of Sutton Estates.
The relatively short flowering period for oilseed rape crops in April doesn’t appear to have compromised pod set in any way, according to Northamptonshire grower, Ian Matts. Pod numbers are high and seeds looking to have set well.
In Berkshire, Joe Dilibero agreed that, although starting to flower much later than in previous years, an incredibly quick flowering in good weather conditions has still resulted in excellent pod numbers
Syngenta Technical Manager, Georgina Wood, pointed out that the shorter duration of flowering could mean less light reflectance from yellow petals – and importantly allow more sun to reach green leaves. The jury was certainly still out with regards desiccation options this season.
All acknowledged that, with the relatively short spring growing season, retaining green leaf area for as long as possible was likely to prove beneficial to ensure pod fill and seed oil content; but that had to be balanced against assuring a safe harvest.
In Norfolk, Chris Eglington highlighted he has trialled leaving the crop to naturally senesce last season, but from his experience pre-harvest desiccation will be a priority this year.
In Lincolnshire, however, Chris Baylis is looking to continue with his trials that have seen significant yield benefits from leaving the crop to ripen naturally, but will be judged field-by-field as the season progresses and to desiccate where necessary.
For faster acting harvest management, Georgina Wood advocated Reglone could give an option where growers haven’t used glyphosate and need to get crops harvested quickly.