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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.
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.
Increasing levels of erucic acid (EA) have been found in oilseed rape samples over recent seasons, leading to rejections from the food oil crush market for EA exceedance and concerns among iOSR growers that more seed will be rejected at intake.
Consistent yield and the ability to establish strongly in the autumn to overcome growing challenges are the qualities Staffordshire grower W.J. and A.J.W. Ryman is looking for in its oilseed rape varieties, and believes DeKalb hybrid DK Exception is certainly fitting the bill.
AHDB research has shown the duration of seed filling is precisely determined by growing day degrees (GDD) – so effectively the warmer the temperatures the quicker seed filling will shut down, while in cool conditions the period can be significantly extended.
The third article in our Maize Matters series for 2018 looks at seedbed preparation following the very poor start to the season. Whilst growers will be under pressure to prepare maize seedbeds ahead of drilling, the advice to hold off until conditions are right has never been more important.
In precision farming high resolution imagery collected using advanced cameras on unmanned aerial vehicles increases precision further and offers greater flexibility, helping farmers to manage their crops more effectively.
Uncertainty about the future is something every business in the UK is having to live with as the country approaches Brexit. For farming, as the industry looks towards a whole new support regime post-Common Agricultural Policy, the uncertainty is particularly pronounced.
In the final article in this Maize Matters series, experts are optimistic about harvest prospects and reflect that fungicide applications will have produced a return on investment for many growers this year.
While predictions for the ideal farmer, agronomist, farm managers and other support roles for the Arable Farm of 2027 abound, it is not so easy
to see where these multi-talented and data-savvy recruits will come from.
Some of the genetic technologies currently being developed and trialled in research institutes could be available on-farm in less than 10 years, according Dr Alison Bentley, director of genetics and breeding at NIAB.
With oilseed rape growers reporting crops, for the most part, having established strongly and come through winter well, thoughts have turned to how to make the most of the potential for the coming season, according to Syngenta technical Light exposure manager James Southgate.
To celebrate the launch of Farm Essentials, a new insurance product for small farmers from NFU Mutual, we are showcasing small farmers at the top of their game. In the first in the series, we profile Will Steward’s Living Larder.
In the final article in our Maize Matters series for 2016, experts are upbeat about prospects for this year’s crop, with predictions both yield and quality will hold up well compared with previous seasons.
A joint venture between three European plant breeders is increasing the choice of competitive varieties available to UK farmers. Paul Spackman takes a look at the wheat programme and explores future breeding priorities.
In the first in our Maize Matters series for the 2016 season, experts are advising growers to be patient, before commencing seedbed preparation. It may also be worth cutting seed rates, in situations where an early harvest is required.