First rape crop in 7 years sees highest yields ever for AHDB Monitor Farm

Ashley Jones of Smeaton Farm, near Saltash, Cornwall harvested his 4.5ha field of oilseed rape hybrid LG Ambassador on the 22 July, and it yielded a very pleasing 4.07t/ha. A second crop of the conventional Aspire also performed well at 3.58t/ha.

“These are the highest oilseed rape yields we have ever achieved, and that’s taking into account some bare headland areas,” he says.

Having dropped oilseed rape from the rotation at the AHDB Monitor Farm seven years ago as it was underperforming, Mr Jones is thrilled with these harvest results, particularly as the LG Ambassador will go forward into the YEN Oilseed competition this year.

“The LG Ambassador was drilled slightly later on the 6th September 2019, and we were very lucky with the crop in the autumn as we didn’t have any CSFB infestation so it got up and away, and the crops stayed clean season- long. Both varieties have TuYV (Turnip Yellows Virus) resistance and without a doubt this held yields up.”

Mr Jones believes that in dropping the plough and harrow system he used previously, for min till into stubble, the rape crops do not come through as lush and thick, and that by having fewer plants and a thinner crop that has more space and light, yields have improved.

He will be growing both varieties again next year and has already put in his seed order via his Nickerson Seeds rep, Simon House.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.