Oct 2016 Oilseed Rape growing:
This is one of the fields which we have oilseed rape (OSR) growing at Derrycamma Farm. We sowed it on August 17th and this video was shot 2 months later. It is quite amazing how it has grown from a small mustard like seed to it’s current size. Even though last autumn was mild, OSR struggled and never really looked this well at any stage. This crop will need to be well established to withstand the cold frosty nights ahead and the attack from pigeons. Last winter the crop never really recovered from the pigeons and cold spring which led to disappointing yields. Looking at how well this year’s crop has taken off I would be hopefully of a super harvest next July.
After we harvest oilseed rape it needs to be dried down to 7% moisture . This is costly, as not alone does it take alot diesel but there is considerable weight loss so if you you dry a tonne of seed you end up with less than a tonne of dried seed. It is then cleaned before it is stored for the winter in one of our barns.
We have just started pressing this year’s crop of oilseed rape and are delighted with it so far. Has that golden yellow colour as it is pressed and after the settling and filtering process it should prove to be top quality. It takes 3 weeks from pressing to bottling.
New sowing technique for Oilseed Rape
We begin sowing next years oilseed rape crop a few days in late August each year. We purchased a new machine to sow oilseed rape 2012. It is designed do break up any soil compaction in the field. By driving large and heavy vehicles across fields we compact the underlying soil into a hard pan which makes it difficult for roots to penetrate. By breaking this pan directly under the seed, it is easier for roots to go down deep into the ground. Oilseed rape needs to get a good strong tap root established before December because it will be hit by frost and pigeons during the winter months. By having a deep root the plant will recover fully in the spring.