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A dry summer, followed by a warm September, will give OSR growers a clearer indication of potential risks from cabbage stem flea beetle this autumn. But open autumn conditions and milder temperatures through winter will influence larvae numbers, and potential impacts on yields.
Last autumn’s difficult establishment and high cabbage stem flea beetle pressure saw significant crop failure for most of the iOSR grower group. While remaining crops look healthy, what will be the impact of the losses?
With Sclerotinia posing a potentially devastating threat to oilseed rape growers, farmers are being advised to adapt their fungicide programmes to ensure protection throughout the flowering period, and to choose products with additional benefits, such as green leaf retention.
Oilseed rape remains by far the favoured break crop by all the growers in the iOSR group. But, the exceptionally challenging establishment conditions in the autumn, and ongoing threat of Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle in the remaining crop, has severely tested resolve this season.
While oilseed rape crops which survived establishment have, for the most part, been growing well in benign autumn conditions, issues of dry soils and cabbage stem flea beetle damage were still top of mind for iOSR growers at their latest meeting.