Enticed by a scheme that “offers some protection for the grower” should the crop fail to establish was enough to convince Jeremy Fulcher to try the conventional oilseed rape variety Blazen across 88 hectares this autumn.
Farming at Little Easton to the east of Stansted Airport in Essex, Mr Fulcher prefers to drill the crop in early September though it can often drift to later in the month with bad weather.
“Getting the crop to emerge and then establish is the biggest challenge with oilseed rape. If you succeed at this then you are more then half-way to achieving a good crop in my opinion,” says Mr Fulcher.
It is for this reason that he found the oilseed establishment partnership from KWS an attractive prospect. “It offers some protection for the grower in the event of a crop failure. I don’t have any objections to paying for seed, but if I can’t establish a crop then the saving is useful in compensating me for the time and effort invested,” he adds.
The threat posed by cabbage stem flea beetle has increased in recent years and its impact has been considerable.
“I prefer to drill oilseed rape from the 1st September, but this season I have been persuaded to drill some of our 47 hectares of Campus several weeks earlier in an attempt to get it up an away before the flea beetle can inflict too much damage,” he adds.