How late we can drill oilseed rape, and what temperature does a vigorous hybrid variety need for successful establishment before winter? LPSB Managing Director Chris Guest believes that the company’s data shows drilling your oilseed rape in September is still an option.

“We have analysed our daily temperatures at LSPB’s headquarters in Impington, close to Cambridge, for the last two autumns.

 “We received 1,131°C (2021) and 1,163°C (2022) between the beginning of September and end of November –  more than enough for sufficient rapeseed development.

“If we want to reach the 8-leaf stage with a robust plant based on 8mm root neck diameter and a tap root of more than 8 cm before winter, we have to accumulate 150°C for germination and around 120-150°C per leaf pair.

“Calculating both figures together, we need minimum 750°C for a sufficient development before winter, and based on the temperature data from Impington, we can still reach that stage, even with ultra-late sowing dates going right up to the end of September.

“There are a number of provisos. Most important is to say that late sowing is advisable only for hybrid varieties with their vigorous development, Also that late sown oilseed rape crops are more at risk to phoma, so a good phoma rating is advised.

“Varieties such as LSPB’s hybrid Murray, with its vigorous growth habit and exceptional RlmS Phoma resistance, is a good example of a variety that should be suited to late drilling – of course, taking into account your farm location and adjustments like modifying your sowing rate.”

Chris Guest adds, “in summary, in a challenging season like this, it is worthwhile considering late sowing if your temperature data is comparable with ours from Impington. And with many now having their own weather station – such as the  Sencrop – you can look at your own historic information as well as our data to make an informed decision.” 

1. Summary slide ‘What is the latest local sowing date?