OSR State of the Nation Survey 2019: The Results
OSR at a glance.
OSR can be a challenging and unpredictable crop to grow, with establishment being the biggest challenge for many growers. The drought conditions experienced at establishment in autumn 2018, together with unprecedented cabbage stem flea beetle populations resulted in loss of crop area in both autumn and spring. Despite this, many growers still reported WOSR to be their most profitable break crop.
n = 367
- >33% of growers reported moderate or severe pressure from CSFB in autumn 2018 (compared to 13% in 2017)
- 61% of growers say OSR is their most profitable break crop.
- 3.8t/haaverage yield in harvest 2018
What's really going on?
With the outlook for winter oilseed rape seemingly uncertain, we wanted to understand the challenges farmers are facing, what has changed for the crop and any strategies that they have identified which are working for them.
OSR Crop area 2018
How many hectares of OSR did you plant in 2018?
- 0-29ha - 27%
- 30-59ha - 30%
- 60-100ha - 17%
- 100+ha - 22%
- No OSR - 4%
367 growers, 29,545 ha OSR, Average 80ha
Area, by OSR type
What area of the following types of WOSR have you planted in autumn 2018?
- Hybrid seed - 38%
- Certified OP seed - 26%
- Farm savd seed - 16%
- Clearfield hybrid seed - 14%
- HEAR hybrid seed - 3%
- HOLL hybrid seed - 2%
- Clubroot hybrid seed - 1%
|East||Midlands & North||Scotland||South|
|Farm saved seed||1352||1975||116||588|
|Certified OP seed||1602||2595||421||1178|
|Clearfield hybrid seed||1059||1315||0||1168|
|Clubroot hybrid seed||0||85||79||20|
|HEAR hybrid seed||211||87||321||200|
|HOLL hybrid seed||164||295||17||104|
WOSR – Frequency in rotation
Approximately, how frequently do you grow WOSR in the rotation?
Two thirds of growers are using a 1 in 4-5 rotation
|East||Midlands & North||Scotland||South||All Regions|
|1 in 3||8||29||1||8||56|
|1 in 4||20||64||6||22||126|
|1 in 5||25||38||14||13||109|
|1 in 6||15||22||6||2||56|
|1 in 7||5||7||4||2||19|
|South and Midlands tend to have shorter rotations|
Scotland has longer rotations
Factors influencing variety choice
- 61% growers rate autumn vigour as the most important factor
- Only 18% rate yield as the most important
- Regardless of seed type, every grower interviewed included autumn vigour in their top 3 most important factors in variety choice
- Hybrid growers (any type) value pod shatter resistance over disease resistance
- Added value traits rank as highly important amongst farmers exclusively growing hybrids (any type)
Variety choice buying factors
|What are the 3 MOST important factors to you when making your WOSR variety choice?|
|Pod shatter resistance||0.7|
|Oil profile (e.g. HOLL)||0.1|
|Average calculated from ranking|
Rank 1=3, Rank 2=2, Rank 3 =1 No rank =0
- An average of 8% of WOSR crop was lost in autumn 2018, with autumn establishment failure being higher amongst FSS users than any other variety type
- There was significantly higher CSFB pressure in autumn 2018, with >1/3 growers reporting severe pressure compared to 13% in 2017
- 80% of growers in the south reported moderate-severe pressure
Grower experience with CSFB at establishment
- "Early drilled crops quick to establish mainly but some carrying big larval burden now."
- "I feel the more stubble left standing, the less damage you get."
- "The pressure was exaggerated by the very slow growth and lack of vigour from such a dry time"
- "If the crop was slow to get away they caused more problems, conserving moisture and higer fertility certainly helped"
- "Longer the stubble, the fewer beetles"
- "Seed beds are most important to keep right"
- "Less of an issue since using starter fertiliser and ensuring seedbed consolidation is better"
CSFB & crop loss
Have you suffered from cabbage stem flea beetle pressure in the last 2 years, even if it hasn't resulted in crop loss?
|No Pressure||Mild||Moderate Pressure||Severe Pressure|
|No Pressure||Mild Pressure||Moderate Pressure||Severe Pressure|
|Midlands & North||11%||30%||25%||32%|
Strategies to minimise loss from CSFB in autumn
Have you tried or considered any of these strategies to help minimise your risk of cabbage stem flea beetle damage in the autumn?
Rating 1-5 relates to perceived success rate
- 66% - Early drilling (before mid August) perceived success 3.7
- 45% - Higher seed rates perceived success 3.5
- 44% - Increased fertiliser perceived success 3.5
- 42% - Improved seed beds perceived success 3.6
- 42% - Spraying insecticides at night perceived success 3.0
- 38% - Increased use of hybrid seedsPerceived success 3.2
- 37% - Companion cropping perceived success 2.4
- 34% - Increased use of farm saved seed perceived success 3.2
- 31% - Late drilling (September) perceived success 2.9
- 21% - Increased slug control perceived success 3.0
- 19% - Increased use of certified OP seed perceived success 2.9
- 13% - Change of establishment method perceived success 3.1
WOSR Yields over last 3 years
- On average, yields have decreased slightly over last 3 years. Scotland was the only region to see a trend towards improved yields. Possibly because it has been less affected by CSFB
- Regardless of variety type or region, yields were slightly higher in harvest 2017 compared to 2016 or 2018
- Yield varies more by region than it does by variety type
|East||Midlands & North||Scotland||South||Grand Total|
|Average yield t/ha|
Erucic acid penalties
"6% of growers surveyed have received an erucic acid penalty in the last 3 years"
Reasons for planting Clearfield®
- 56% - Management of brassica weeds
- 18% - Management of volunteers to remove potential sources of erucic acid
- 16% - Other
- 6% - Management of volunteers for opimim canopy
- 4% - Tolerance to SU herbicides used in previous crop
- "56% of Clearfield growers have chosen the system for Brassica weed control, with a further 18% valuing the system for removal of sources of erucic acid"
- "Delay herbicide applications until after a viable crop has been established"
- "Clearfield reduces risk"
- "May use companion cropping and so increase Clearfield varieties to help with flea beetle pressure"
Establishment methods versus CSFB
Establishment methods used in Autumn 2018
|Severe Pressure||Moderate Pressure||Mild Pressure||No Pressure|
|Wide (~50cm) rows||4||2||3||0|
- 56% growers used a min-til approach to establishment
- Growers who had autocast seed were more likely to have experienced severe pressure from CSFB
- >85 of growers who reported no pressure used a no/min-til approach
Approach to targeting diseases
|Phoma Spray||LLS Autumn Spray||LLS Spring Spray||Sclerotinia|
"74% growers using a post-emergence herbicide"
Intentions for 2019
Early (January) cropping intentions for autumn 2019
- 25% plan to not plant WOSR In autumn 2019
- 3.5% plan to reduce their area
- 24% plan to maintain their area
- 5% plan to increase
- Remainder did not answer
Grower comments on 2019 intentions
- "We shall be up on area due to rotation but will use increased certified seed to help reduce erucic acid or test farm saved seed."
- "Hybrid have out-yielded conventional OSR here for the past four years and gross margins are better in hybrid OSR"
- "Stretch rotation & keep on better soils"
- "Hybrid vigour important to combat mainly ineffective sprays against beetle attack"
- "We will be back to a normal rotation and hopefully establish all of the intended area, assuming we have moisture in the soil in August"
- "Going with more hybrids for vigour"
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