Oilseed rape crops in north Lincolnshire have been held back by the poor weather in recent weeks.
“Nothing has looked very exciting – we have a long spell of wet, cold and miserable weather, says Billy Wrisdale, manager at GH Parker (North Cotes) Ltd, Grange Farm, near Grimsby.
“However, all plant counts are on target and we weren’t bothered too much by pigeons. The cold caused quite a bit of older leaf loss earlier on, but that is no bad thing.”
Roots have grown well and straight down on the well-drained clays, helped by a subsoiling before drilling, says Billy.
The 129ha of RGT Windozz was drilled between 30 August and 2 September at 60 seeds/sq m, later than his other varieties. However, it is living up to its reputation of being one of the earliest to get away in the spring, being ahead of other varieties on the farm and is speeding through stem extension, says Billy.
All OSR has now had 80kg N and 50kg SO3. The aim is to apply 240/125kg/ha in total and the balance will be applied in two further splits.
“The first dressing went on much later than planned due to the awful weather, but I don’t believe in applying fertiliser until the crop needs it,” says Billy. “It won’t have come to any harm.”
There is not much sign of disease on the RGT Windozz, so a half-rate tebuconazole is considered sufficient to keep the crop clean.
The variety has short, stiff straw so the tebuconazole will also provide sufficient growth regulation for now. Boron was also added and applied to on all OSR crops
Whether the variety needs further growth regulation will depend on how the season unfolds. However, a two-spray programme for Sclerotinia at early and mid-flower is on the to-do list.