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Oilseed Rape

We know that growing oilseed rape can be challenging so we have gathered together everything you need to know about oilseed rape here. From establishment to harvest we can provide insight about crop management and protection to help maximise yields.

Posted 2 months ago

February

What’s happening in oilseed rape in February

With the main light leaf spot (LLS) epidemic now underway, focus should turn to walking crops to understand the severity in your locality and plan fungicide programmes accordingly.

Now is also a good time to begin assessing green area index (GAI) to manage crop canopy development for maximum yields, as well as level of weed presence within the crop. Remember that visible flower buds are the cut-off date for many spring herbicides, leaving a finite window for applications. 

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  • Walk crops to assess LLS severity, GAI and weed levels within the crop
  • Spray for Phoma and LLS if necessary

March

What’s happening in oilseed rape in March

Results from the SpotCheck initiative has shown that light leaf spot is now present across most of the country, from Scotland to Dorset and Hampshire.

As a result, it is vital to walk fields and assess disease presence within the crop. Look for tiny white spore droplets on the leaf surface, which can sometimes appear in a circular pattern, on the upper or underside of the leaf.

Where light leaf spot in present, there is an opportunity to utilise prothioconazole at this timing to dampen down the disease and manipulate the canopy.

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  • Utilise the free SpotCheck initiative to assess light leaf spot in the crop
  • Walk crops to assess disease severity within the crop and spray if necessary
  • Consider prothioconazole to manage light leaf spot at stem extension

April

What’s happening in oilseed rape in April

Although oilseed rape crops are variable this spring due to establishment and/or cabbage stem flea beetle damage, most are now at green bud and the most advanced are at early flowering. Some crops have been written off due to poor establishment or the fact that they are carrying far too many cabbage stem flea beetle larvae to make a viable crop.

March’s SpotCheck initiative results have shown that light leaf spot is prevalent throughout the country and with most crops being at least at stem extension, it’s important to apply fungicides now to prevent further damage.

Over the next month Sclerotinia sprays will be at the front of people’s minds. If it stays mild, the earliest oilseed rape crops will be flowering by the second to third week of April.

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  • Address pest and disease risk in OSR
  • Plan flowering sprays in oilseed rape
  • Monitor backward OSR plants for pollen beetle
  • Protect OSR from Sclerotinia with a two-spray fungicide

May

What’s happening in oilseed rape in May

Results from the SpotCheck initiative has shown that light leaf spot is now present across most of the country, from Scotland to Dorset and Hampshire.

As a result, it is vital to walk fields and assess disease presence within the crop. Look for tiny white spore droplets on the leaf surface, which can sometimes appear in a circular pattern, on the upper or underside of the leaf.

Where light leaf spot in present, there is an opportunity to utilise prothioconazole at this timing to dampen down the disease and manipulate the canopy.

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  • Utilise the free SpotCheck initiative to assess light leaf spot in the crop
  • Walk crops to assess disease severity within the crop and spray if necessary
  • Consider prothioconazole to manage light leaf spot at stem extension

June/July

What’s happening in oilseed rape in June/July

The gate is almost shut on oilseed rape until the combines start rolling in July and August, with only harvesting plans and whether to apply a pod sticker left to decide upon.

While swathing and direct combining are options, most growers usually apply a desiccant.

Timing of glyphosate applications could be tricky this season, as crops affected by flea beetle or pigeon damage are very uneven. Going too early risks both limiting oil content and increasing the risk of immature red seed at harvest, while late applications may see increased losses from pod shatter.

The key thing is to carefully walk crops properly to assess them efficiently. There might be a huge difference between how a crop looks in the gateway and 100m away in the middle of the field.

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  • Walk OSR crops carefully and ensure crops are sampled correctly to get desiccation timing correct
  • Consider using  a premium glyphosate formulation such as Roundup Powermax or Roundup Flex for the fastest and most consistent results.

The Big Picture Oilseed Rape

Through extensive analysis of national independent data from the past five seasons, this report shows the impact of the challenges faced when growing oilseed rape, and how you have responded.

Read now

Agricultural policy

Environmental stewardship

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Identification and Management of OSR diseases

Find out more information on the key disease threats to your oilseed rape crop. For each disease you will find out the importance of the disease in terms of potential yield penalty, how to identify the disease in its early stages and our advice on the best control strategies.

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