BASF Agricultural Solutions UK

OSR State of the Nation Survey 2018

OSR at a glance.

OSR can be a challenging and unpredictable crop to grow, from achieving good establishment, to overcoming disease, weed and pest pressure and then securing decent yields. Despite this, it is still one of the most viable and profitable break crops, and the 2017 planted area increased to 600,000 ha.

Survey ran from Jan 2018 to Feb 2018

  • 22% of growers looking to increase their OSR area in autumn 2018. (n = 282 growers)
  • 68% of growers say OSR is their most profitable break crop. (n = 279 growers)
  • 27% of growers achieved average OSR yields over 4.5t/ha harvest 2017 (n = 256 growers)

What's really going on?

With the outlook for OSR seemingly positive, we wanted to know more about how farmers were making success of their crop, looking closer at the challenges they face.

What are the most popular variety types?

From farm saved seed to certified, open pollinated types to hybrids, there are a lot of options available when it comes to variety choice. Whilst individual varieties were not asked about, 43% are growing more than one type of variety.

Which of the following variety types are you growing this year (harvest 2018)? n = 289 growers

Open Pollinated (FSS)33%
Open Pollinated (Certified)53%
Hybrid (Non-Clearfield)46%
Hybrid (Clearfield)20%
Cost, risk, yield, vigour and weed control were all indicated as key decision making criteria for variety type choice.

Which of the following variety types are you growing this year (harvest 2018)? Results filtered to only show those growing a single variety type.

Open Pollinated (FSS)11%
Open Pollinated (Certified)18%
Hybrid (Non-Clearfield)22%
Hybrid (Clearfield)6%
22% are only growing non-Clearfield hybrid varieties this year and 6% of growers are only growing Clearfield varieties.

Why did you choose to grow Clearfield® OSR?

  • "Better establishment & problem weed control"
  • "I have used Clearfield on part of my oilseed crop in previous years and for simplicity I have gone totally Clearfield"
  • "To control volunteer OSR, charlock & runch."
  • "Charlock present in the field and it yielded well last year"
  • "Improved vigour"
  • "Weed control plus being able to know there are plants in the ground before spraying herbicide"

Thinking ahead to autumn 2018 Results filtered to only show those growing that particular variety type this year (harvest 2018) and excludes those who did not answer this question
 Will not useWill reduceWill maintainWill increase 
Hybrid (Clearfield)776126n = 43 growers
Hybrid (Non-Clearfield)5226310n = 120 growers
Open Pollinated (Certified)419698n = 144 growers
Open Pollinated (FSS)3107215n = 88 growers

What about cabbage stem flea beetle?

CSFB has been a major problem and over 70% have suffered from cabbage stem flea beetle in the last three years. However, pressure was thought to be lower this and good growing conditions helped many crops overcome attacks.

  • "Finding larvae in the stem of plants, shot holing wasn't as bad as the previous year but larvae seem worse."
  • "Warm weather with adequate moisture meant OSR grew rapidly, faster than CSFB could keep up with it."
  • "Headlands adjacent to fields in OSR last year have been the most vulnerable"

How would you rate the severity of CSFB pressure on your farm over the last three years?

 No pressureMildModerateSevereDon't know

Growers have tried a wide range of strategies to minimise the risk with varying degrees of success. 69% of growers are aware of the importance of good seedbeds and adequate soil moisture to support quick establishment. Higher seed rates, use of hybrid varieties and early drilling are all also popular strategies.

Have you tried any of these strategies to help minimise your CSFB risk and how successful have they been?

Scores from 1-5

  • 69% - Improved seedbeds perceived success 3.4
  • 55% - Higher seed rates perceived success 3.2
  • 46% - Hybrid varieties perceived success 2.8
  • 42% - Early drilling (pre mid-Aug) perceived success 3.5
  • 34% - Night spraying perceived success 3.2
  • 21% - Late drilling (post mid-sep) perceived success 2.9
  • 15% - Companion cropping perceived success 2.4

Comments on CSFB from growers

  • "Improved seedbeds allows crop to establish quickly which is key to getting it away from all pests."
  • "Reduced soil disturbance during sowing. Retaining soil moisture. Rolling twice."
  • "Drill just before / after rainfall to ensure a rapid germination and early growth."
  • "Early drilling with nitrogen seems to help get plants to grow away quickly but only if there is enough moisture"

Protecting the crop.

Over the past three years, Sclerotinia has been the most frequently targeted disease with over 76% often applying treatment, with only 3% who don't apply anything.

Thinking about plant protection products - what is your usual approach targeting these issues?

 Don't ApplySometimes ApplyOften apply
LLS (autumn)53866
LLS (Spring)53457
Yield data for those who ‘don’t apply’ a PGR in the spring, showed a -0.2t/ha yield penalty over the survey average.

Comments on protection from growers

  • "Timing is key, being able to spray at exactly the right time makes a big difference."
  • "Light leaf spot spray autumn and early spring then two further sprays for the prevention of sclerotinia."
  • "Low seed rates and canopy management are used. If crop is still too lush or a weak strayed variety, we will use Caryx."

How has OSR performed in recent years?

Crop failure was less prevalent this year (Feb 2018) and recent yields were considerably higher than the year before. 19% of growers suffered from some failed OSR crops this season with 3% of total winter OSR area lost. 27% of growers achieved yields over 4.5 t/ha.

Have you had any failed crops of winter OSR in the last three years, including this harvest year?

 % of growers with some crop failure% of OSR area with crop failure
Harvest 2016317
Harvest 2017298
Harvest 2018193
3% of total winter OSR area reported lost this year (Feb 2018) compared to 8% last year. Slugs were the leading cause of crop loss this year, whilst CSFB, slugs and dry conditions were all key factors last year.

"Proper understanding of canopy management, starting with seed rate is one issue to getting good yield. The second is attention to detail - if the time and investment matches wheat, the output will respond accordingly!"

Have you received an oil penalty for erucic acid usage in the last three years?

n = 292

  • 9% - Yes
  • 91% - No

How has your winter OSR yielded in recent years?

 Less than 3.5t/haBetween 3.5 and 4.5t/haMore than 4.5t/ha
Harvest 2017145927
Harvest 2016365912
There have been considerably higher average yields in 2017 than 2016. The average harvest yield was +0.4 t/ha over the 2016 average yield.

Do people understand winter OSR?

Out of a 1-5 score, 74% rated the agricultural industry’s understanding of winter wheat yield factors as a 4 or 5, compared to only 34% for winter oilseed rape. There's work to be done.

  • 3.1 Winter OSR
  • 3.9 Winter Wheat

How does 2018 compare?

The results from the 2019 edition of the State of the Nation survey are still available for you to view.

See the 2019 results

The BASF OSR Establishment Risk Share Programme

We understand that growing OSR can be challenging. At BASF, we want to share some of the burden with you. So, we’re offering Risk Share Programmes on all InVigor hybrid seed sold this autumn.

Find out more

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