Effects of drilling date, seed rate, nitrogen level and plant growth regulators on winter linseed.


Cereals & Oilseeds
Project code:
01 September 1996 - 31 December 1998
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.
AHDB sector cost:
£58,236 from HGCA (project no. 1638)
Project leader:
A D GILCHRIST and K JACK Scottish Agronomy Ltd., Arlary Farm, Milnethort, Kinross KY13 9SJ



About this project


The introduction of winter linseed to the UK in 1995 was a consequence of the agronomic problems associated with the spring crop; late harvesting and lodging being the greatest of these. The identification of a truly winter hardy variety - Oliver - meant that there was the exciting possibility of developing an early harvesting break crop with potentially higher yields.

To fully develop its potential an agronomy blueprint has been constructed taking into account the key variables of sowing date, seed rate and nitrogen input. This series of trials was conducted over a two-year period (1996-1998) across the UK to examine all these variables plus the effects of PGR's and fungicide input. The trials were conducted in two of the most difficult seasons in recent years and results were variable.

The variations in establishment and yield were wide both across sites and over both seasons. Drilling date was a very important factor with mid-late September producing the optimum results. Seed rate was also influential with lower seed rates (400-600 seeds/m2) producing less lodging, and better yield at early sowings, and higher rates (600-900), more appropriate for early October sowings. Nitrogen had a considerable effect on yield with significant increases in yield from inputs between 50 and 100 kg/ha.

Higher amounts tended to increase lodging. PGR's were found to have some benefits in preventing lodging, although some damage to yield may occur. Fungicide input is important, with grey mould and pasmo proving difficult to control. Response to the products tested was limited. Yield, generally, was extremely varied across all trials and seasons and more work is needed to develop reliable agronomy techniques.