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CropTec Show: Negotiating lower erucic acid levels for 2018

The EU commission are currently reviewing proposals to reduce the legal limit of erucic acid in low erucic acid oilseed rape (OSR).


Abby   Kellett

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Abby   Kellett
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Currently, for rapeseed oil to be used in food products, by law erucic acid levels must not exceed 5 per cent, and therefore the contractual maximum in most contracts is set at 2 per cent, which allows some margin for error.

 

The latest proposals being debated in Brussels would mean dropping the legal limit to 2 per cent, effectively mirroring the specifications of most OSR contracts.

 

Tori Morgan, NFU crops advisor, says the new legislation is likely to come into fruition towards the end of next year. The changes would require farmers to be more vigilant regarding erucic acid contamination.

 

She says: “There are a lot of deliveries going into crushers and central stores currently, which are testing at above 2 per cent.

 

“It is really difficult to pinpoint where contamination is coming from, there is no easy answer, which is why the NFU have put together a document, which highlights the key control points throughout the growing season, which growers should be aware of.

 

“Because we don’t know where the source of contamination is coming from we are keen to tackle every potential source, to try and minimise the risk across the board.”


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Key control points

 

1) Field choice

  • Know the history of fields you are going to plant with OSR, particularly if previously used for high erucic acid rapeseed (HEAR)

2) Seed

  • Keep samples, labels and records of each variety
  • Certified seed – Ensure you have you got/seen a copy of the certificate of analysis for erucic acid content
  • Farm saved seed (FSS)– Have your FSS tested for euricic acid. FFS should only be saved for one generation

3) Weeds

  • Talk to your agronomists about effective control of weeds with high erucic acid content

4) Pre-harvest

  • Samples and test any crop you are planning to use as farm saved seed for next year

5) Transportation

  • Ensure lorries and/or trailers are fit for purpose
  • Retain samples of each variety, ideally by field
  • Retain a sample of each lorry load leaving the farm

6) Contracts

  • Ensure you have read and understood you oilseed contract and oilseed sellers checklist

 

Source: NFU

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