Oilseed rape growth guide

This guide outlines oilseed rape’s key growth stages and can provide a foundation for management.

What's inside the OSR growth guide?

Oilseed rape is an important part of many arable rotations. However, the area grown recently has been well below the record 0.76 million hectares planted in 2012. For harvest 2019, AHDB Planting Survey data put the English oilseed rape area at a 16-year low.

The reduction in total area is most likely due to agronomic challenges, often related to the loss of key pesticides, and relatively high variable costs. However, with a relatively favourable gross margin, compared with feed wheat, where oilseed rape can be grown well, it performs competitively in the rotation.

This guide main describes the crop’s key growth stages and outlines the main components of yield. This guide does not cover agronomy, but it does highlight AHDB management resources. Together, this information can be used as a foundation for management.

Principal growth stage (GS) key*

*BBCH growth stage system

Green Area Index (GAI)

Green Area Index (GAI) is the ratio of green leaf and stem area to the area of ground on which the crop is growing.

GAI 0.2

GAI 0.6

GAI 1.2

GAI 1.8

GAI 2.6

Management resources

Other management publications

6 August 2020

Assess and manage the health of your soil

17 March 2020

The AHDB Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) offers best practice guidance on the application of mineral fertilisers, manures and slurries to crops and grassland.

This practical guide for farmers and agronomists brings together research to allow improved weed management through a rotation dominated by autumn-sown crops. Originally published in 2010, the 2017 revision has a new look and some minor changes.

Our Harvest Toolkit includes a wealth of information on grain prices, harvest results, straw, grain sampling practice, grain storage and grain marketing

This checklist was produced by AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, on behalf of the Cereals Liaison Group, to help growers avoid the most common problems associated with oilseed sales contracts.

Key points where management of erucic acid levels can make a difference

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