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Pre Harvest Treatment - July 2012

Date Added: 13/07/2012


By Richard Elsdon, United Oilseeds Technical Manager

We are experiencing one of the wettest summers for a long time. One key consequence of this is that many crops of oilseed rape are tousled at best and totally flat at worst. The rain keeps coming and the weather forecast does not indicate any likely respite.

Given the soggy summer, swathing the crop is definitely inappropriate. The whole idea of swathing is to carefully cut a standing crop and gently lay it on a stubble of about 50cm (20inches. This swath would have air circulating through it and would dry down over a period of 10-12 days to the point where the seed was 8-10% moisture and the plant stem and branches were dry enough to pass through the combine easily.

Due to the tangled nature of many of the crops the stubble length is more likely to be in small single figures which means effectively the cut crop is lying on very wet soil. Any more rain that falls will not be able to dry easily, as air circulation is non-existent. The result will be a chitted crop growing out of compost!

This year, the only technique worth considering is pre-harvest glyphosate or diquat. In both cases, add a latex sticker as there will be a large variation in seed and pod maturity due to the elongated flowering period. Pod splitting in the ripest pods must be a possibility.

Consult your agronomist to decide which route to take.

 

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