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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 3 weeks ago


What’s happening in oilseed rape in May

Oilseed rape crops vary across the country, depending on whether cabbage stem flea beetles have had their way. There are some fantastic looking crops, others not so much.

This means crops are particularly variable in terms of flowering, which could lead to protracted flowering periods for some crops, and requiring careful planning and field-walking to assess sclerotinia risk.

Up until the last week of April, as well as being too dry, night-time temperatures had been too low for any risk of sclerotinia infection. However, soil temperatures are now high enough for sclerotia germination and any rain that materialises increasing humidity within crop canopy could trigger an infection risk for crops flowering into May.

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  • Uneven flea beetle-damaged OSR crops may be at risk of late sclerotinia infection
  • Use broad spectrum Proline for one-spray sclerotinia programmes in OSR
  • One Proline spray will give about 3 weeks’ protection, so a follow up might be required if flowering is prolonged or protracted. A further 0.32 L/ha of Proline will maintain protection until flowering is complete.


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


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


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


What’s happening in oilseed rape in December

As we begin to enter into the coldest months of the year, crops will be in the midst of leaf production, in preparation for an intense growth period in spring 2019.

The onset of the cold weather will now keep aphids and flea beetle pressure at bay, which otherwise have the potential to hinder establishment significantly.

However, crops are not danger free as they continue to grow through the high-risk period for various weeds and diseases. To ensure your crop steers clear of weed damage, crops should be walked to assess potential harm in order to change weed control programmes effectively. If you’re unsure of the prevalence of light leaf spot or Phoma symptoms, you can have leaves assessed by the Bayer SpotCheck initiative to ensure early detection and informed decision-making.  

Priorities this month (location dependent):

  •  Walk crops and assess Phoma, LLS and weed levels
  •  Spray a herbicide or fungicide if necessary

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.

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Agricultural policy

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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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