Steve Tuers bumper 7.2t/ha crop of oilseed rapemay well be the highest yielding crop in the world ever recorded. Theunofficial record attempt took place on 21 August at Mr Tuers Hutton Grangefarm, near Northallerton. The national average oilseed rape yield consistentlyruns at under 4t/ha.
The restored hybrid variety, Incentive, is wellsuited to performance in the north, scoring 109% on the HGCAs North RegionRecommended List, but Mr Tuer said that the yield resulted from the farms soiland the attention to detail of the agronomy.
This used to be a dairy farm, so there is a lot ofinherent fertility in the soil, plus all the slurry from our 600-sow and pigfattening unit is spread back onto the 1,000 acres of arable land, heexplained. The soil is also very heavy, so crops do very well in a dry yearlike the one weve had.
He added that his close working relationship withhis agronomist, Chris Martin, of Agrovista, has allowed them to perfect thefarms agronomy programmes to get the management spot-on in input choice andtimings. The crop was sown at a very low seed rate, using simple cultivationsbut ensuring maximum attention to detail in achieving good seed to soil contactand post-sowing consolidation.
I dont believe in early sowing of oilseed rape,Mr Tuer explained. This crop wasnt sown until the 6th September ata rate of 35 seed/m2 with a Vaderstad drill, after min-tilling witha Heva Combilift, followed by shallow discs and a packer.
Following on-farm trials developed by Chris Martin,the fertiliser applied in four splits totalling 220kg of nitrogen as urea. Theapplication dates were 10 March, 20 March + sulphur, 28 March and 12 April +sulphur. We also applied foliar nitrogen in June with the second sclerotiniaspray, he noted.
Chris Martin took what he describes as aconventional spray programme of an autumn phoma and Light Leaf Spot spray ofFrelizon (pentiopyrad + picoxystrobin), followed by an early spring applicationof Monkey (tebuconazole + Prochloraz), and combined with the nutrition productHeadland Bo-La (boron + molybdenum). The scelertonia programme then consistedof Recital (Fluopyram + Protioconazole) at early flower, followed up threeweeks later with Proline (prothioconazole) in tank mix with Nufol (foliar nitrogen),which Mr Tuer described as a Rolls Royce Agrovista programme.
Ive fallen in love with growing oilseed rape! ButI invest to yield, make sure my soils are in good condition and keep everythingsimple my rotation, cultivations and my agronomy, Mr Tuer said. He alsoyielded 12.2t/ha from a crop of Glacier winter barley. He has alsoregistered with the ADAS Yield Enhancement Network project with a field of thevariety, Kielder. This field previously yielded 16t/ha in 2010, so he is veryhopeful that it should do very well this year.