Variety

  • Choose a proven variety – do not take chances with such a high value crop
  • Reliable yield performance, good standing power and good disease resistance
  • Hybrid types can be useful for overcoming pest and weather issues

Establishment

  • Sow early – 15th August to 10th September, earlier the better as big plants will deal better with slug and pigeon attack A well established crop can also provide potential to reduce N usage in the spring.
  • Clear previous crop quickly to ensure suitable sowing date, winter barley ideal for this
    Pay attention to sowing rate, base decisions on TGW & conditions, aim for 30 to 40 plants per sq metre in spring (hybrids and conventional varieties)
  • Various establishment methods can be used, strip till, plough, min-till, direct drill,
  • Monitor carefully for flea beetle at early stages

Weed Control

  • Butisan or Katamaran Turbo (Cleavers & Poppy), apply immediately after rolling or delay until very early post emergence if heavy rain forecast after sowing
  • Graminicide (eg Falcon, Fusilade Max, Stratos Ultra) for volunteer cereals & wild oats
  • Salsa can be very effective at controlling Charlock if applied early to the actively growing weed
  • Astrokerb is a useful weed-control product as it gives excellent control of broadleaf & grass weeds at an economical cost (note rules regarding baling of OSR haulm).

Crop Nutrition, Disease Control & Growth Regulation

  • WOSR has a high demand for N & Sulphur, less so for P & K. Use Green Area Index (GAI) phone apps from BASF or Yara to calculate total N requirement in spring. Applying some of the N late will greatly benefit pod fill and eventual yield. Hold back approx. 30-40 units N till the latest time at which you can spread over the crop
  • Don’t forget micronutrients such as Boron & Magnesium
  • Fungicide choice will be based on requirement for crop shortening versus disease control; Prothioconazole is excellent for disease control whereas Metconazole & Tebuconazole are better where shortening is required

Harvesting

  • Direct harvesting with combine harvester safer in Irish climate than swathing
  • Desiccation with Glyphosate and the use of Pod Sealants makes the ripe standing crop more shed resistant
  • Extendable headers greatly improve harvesting output and reduce losses
  • Crop will take 2 1/2 – 3 weeks to ripen following desiccation. Once the crop is ripe, the moisture content will drop very quickly in the right weather (on a good harvest day, the mc% of a ripe crop will drop by 1% per hour).