Plans for 2019
Plans for 2019

OSR State of the Nation Survey 2019

OSR at a glance.

OSR can be a challenging and unpredictable crop to grow, with establishment being the biggest challenge for many growers. The drought conditions experienced at establishment in autumn 2018, together with unprecedented cabbage stem flea beetle populations resulted in loss of crop area in both autumn and spring. Despite this, many growers still reported WOSR to be their most profitable break crop.

n = 0


Growers reported moderate or severe pressure from CSFB in autumn 2018 (compared to 13% in 2017)


Of growers say OSR is their most profitable break crop.


Average yield in harvest 2018

Plans for 2019

What's really going on?

With the outlook for winter oilseed rape seemingly uncertain, we wanted to understand the challenges farmers are facing, what has changed for the crop and any strategies that they have identified which are working for them.

OSR Crop area 2018

How many hectares of OSR did you plant in 2018?

367 growers 29,545 ha OSR Average 80ha
100+ ha

Area, by OSR type

What area of the following types of WOSR have you planted in autumn 2018?

Slide TWO
Farm saved seed
Certified OP seed
Hybrid seed
Clearfield hybrid seed
Clubroot hybrid seed
HEAR hybrid seed
HOLL hybrid seed

WOSR – Frequency in rotation

Approximately, how frequently do you grow WOSR in the rotation?

Two thirds of growers are using a 1 in 4-5 rotation
1 in 7
1 in 6
1 in 5
1 in 4
1 in 3
Midlands & North
All Regions
South and Midlands tend to have shorter rotations
Scotland has longer rotations

Factors influencing variety choice

  • 61% growers rate autumn vigour as the most important factor
  • Only 18% rate yield as the most important
  • Regardless of seed type, every grower interviewed included autumn vigour in their top 3 most important factors in variety choice
  • Hybrid growers (any type) value pod shatter resistance over disease resistance
  • Added value traits rank as highly important amongst farmers exclusively growing hybrids (any type)

Variety choice buying factors

What are the 3 MOST important factors to you when making your WOSR variety choice?

Average calculated from ranking
Rank 1=3, Rank 2=2, Rank 3 =1 No rank =0

OSR losses

  • An average of 8% of WOSR crop was lost in autumn 2018, with autumn establishment failure being higher amongst FSS users than any other variety type
  • There was significantly higher CSFB pressure in autumn 2018, with >1/3 growers reporting severe pressure compared to 13% in 2017
  • 80% of growers in the south reported moderate-severe pressure

Grower experience with CSFB at establishment

"Early drilled crops quick to establish mainly but some carrying big larval burden now."
“I feel the more stubble left standing the less damage you get.”
“The pressure was exaggerated by the very slow growth and lack of vigour from such a dry time.”
“If the crop was slow to get away they caused more problems, conserving moisture and higher fertility certainly helped.”
“Longer the stubble, the fewer beetles.”
“Seed beds are most important to keep right.”
“Less of an issue since using starter fertiliser and ensuring seedbed consolidation is better.”

CSFB & crop loss

Have you suffered from cabbage stem flea beetle pressure in the last 2 years, even if it hasn't resulted in crop loss?

No pressure
Mild pressure
Moderate pressure
Severe pressure

Strategies to minimise loss from CSFB in autumn

Have you tried or considered any of these strategies to help minimise your risk of cabbage stem flea beetle damage in the autumn?

Rating 1-5 relates to perceived success rate

Early drilling (before mid August)

Perceived success 3.7

Higher seed rates

Perceived success 3.5

Increased fertiliser

Perceived success 3.5

Improved seed beds

Perceived success 3.6

Spraying insecticides at night

Perceived success 3.0

Increased use of hybrid seeds

Perceived success 3.2

Companion cropping

Perceived success 2.4

Increased use of farm saved seed

Perceived success 3.2

Late drilling (September)

Perceived success 2.9

Increased slug control

Perceived success 3.0

Increased use of certified OP seed

Perceived success 2.9

Change of establishment method

Perceived success 3.1

Yields & penalties

WOSR Yields over last 3 years

  • On average, yields have decreased slightly over last 3 years. Scotland was the only region to see a trend towards improved yields. Possibly because it has been less affected by CSFB
  • Regardless of variety type or region, yields were slightly higher in harvest 2017 compared to 2016 or 2018
  • Yield varies more by region than it does by variety type
East Midlands & North Scotland South Grand Total
2016 4.7 4.2 3.9 3.6 4.0
2017 4.9 4.2 4.4 3.7 4.1
2018 4.2 4.0 4.4 3.4 3.8

Average yield t/ha

Erucic acid penalties

6% of growers surveyed have received an erucic acid penalty in the last 3 years


  • Management of brassica weeds
  • Management of volunteers to remove potential sources of erucic acid
  • Other
  • Management of volunteers for optimum canopy
  • Tolerance to SU herbicides used in previous crop
  • Reasons for planting Clearfield®

    If this is your first season growing a Clearfield® hybrid, what did it replace?

    Farm saved seed
    Mix of non-Clearfield hybrid and OP certified seed
    Non-Clearfield hybrid
    Clearfield hybrid seed

    Establishment methods

    Establishment methods versus CSFB

    Establishment methods used in Autumn 2018

    Direct drill
    Precision Drill
    No Pressure
    Wide (~50cm) rows
    • 56% growers used a min-til approach to establishment
    • Growers who had autocast seed were more likely to have experienced severe pressure from CSFB
    • >85 of growers who reported no pressure used a no/min-til approach

    Approach to targeting diseases

    Routinely apply 68% 47% 55% 72%
    Sometimes apply 28% 44% 41% 25%
    Don’t apply 7% 9% 4% 4%
    Phoma Spray LLS Autumn Spray LLS Spring Spray Sclerotinia

    Autumn herbicide use

    In autumn 2018 did you use any of the following?

    Post-em BLW herbicide
    Pre-em BLW herbicide
    Clearfield system

    Broad leaf weed control

    Intentions for 2019

    Early (January) cropping intentions for autumn 2019

    plan to not plant WOSR In autumn 2019
    plan to reduce their area
    plan to maintain their area
    plan to increase
    did not answer

    Grower comments on 2019 intentions

    "We shall be up on area due to rotation but will use increased certified seed to help reduce erucic acid or test farm saved seed."
    "Hybrid have out-yielded conventional OSR here for the past four years and gross margins are better in hybrid OSR"
    "Stretch rotation & keep on better soils"
    "Hybrid vigour important to combat mainly ineffective sprays against beetle attack."
    “We will be back to a normal rotation and hopefully establish all of the intended area, assuming we have moisture in the soil in August.”
    “Going with more hybrids for vigour.”

    The BASF OSR Establishment Risk Share Programmes: helping you grow OSR with more confidence with

    Find out more

    How does 2019 compare?

    The results from the 2018 edition of the State of the Nation survey are still available for you to view.

    See the 2018 results