Winter oilseed rape

Growing the crop & wildlife conservation

We sow in August

We apply potassium, phosphate and sulphur in the spring and nitrogen in the autumn and spring

Weed control:
One herbicide in August and sometimes a second in the autumn

Insect pest & control:
Flea beetles are controlled by a seed dressing. We sometimes need to control pollen beetles with an insecticide in the spring

Disease control:
A seed dressing and one fungicide in the autumn

Threats to the crop:

  • Grazing by rabbits and pigeons are major threats
  • Drought can be a problem on our sandy soils
  • Severe rainfall or hail at or near harvest is a threat, though rarely has an impact

What helps:

  • Warm weather after sowing helps the crop get established
  • A warm spring gets the crop growing early
  • Late spring and summer rain helps increase yield
  • We try to keep pigeons off using kites, gas guns and shooting

Wildlife conservation:

Harvest & what the crop is used for

We harvest with a combine, usually in late July

Caring for the crop:
The crop goes into our grain store where it is dried and cooled. This prevents the build up of fungi and insects in the stored grain

What it is used for:
The main product is vegetable oil which is used in food production, as cooking oil and in biodiesel production

The crushed seeds left after the oil has been extracted, called ‘meal’, is used as livestock feed

Winter oilseed rape
Winter oilseed rape