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Mild autumn and dry winter weather influence on OSR yields revealed

The mild autumn and dry winter means that OSR growers with crops not affected by cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) could see a boost in yields.

Research by ADAS and BASF has found that a warm October and a dry December, followed by a sunny April and cool May will give oilseed rape the best opportunity to reach yield potential.


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The study, which reviewed yield data and Met Office weather data from 1979-2019 to determine the cause of weather on yield variation, found that a warm October with increased temperatures of 2degC and a dry December with reduced rainfall of 50mm could increase OSR yields by 0.17tonnes/hectare and 0.11t/ha.

 

Dr Christina Clarke, ADAS puts this down to increased autumn growth resulting in vigorous and strong plants going into the winter.

 

She says: “We have had the right October so those growers that have not suffered pest problems have biomass.

“If conditions carry on as dry and sunny as they are now, then biomass should be able to get up to a certain degree that it can cope with conditions that we might see further down the line.

 

“If we take away pest problems then establishment has been really good and I have seen quite a few large crops that will potentially need some regulators to manage that canopy architecture.

“The soils are filled regardless of the dry weather so as long as the soil has been managed to retain water.”

 

The study also found that a warm March with increased minimum temperatures of 2degC could boost yield by 0.10t/ha, reduced rainfall of 50mm in April could boost yield by 0.2t/ha and a cool May with 15mm more rainfall than average could increase yields by 0.12t/ha. Weather patterns were found to be responsible for 36 per cent of yield variation.

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