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Short rapeseed pods and small seeds. This is also specific to this season

Krótkie łuszczyny rzepaku i drobne nasiona. To także specyfika tego sezonu
  • More and more mown rapeseed fields give feedback on the specificity of this season.
  • In general, it can be safely concluded that the yields in the south of the country are low, the higher up towards the north they are slightly better, although we still have to wait a little longer for the results, because the northern regions have only just started the rapeseed harvest.

We talk about the winter rapeseed season with Dr. Szymon Hoppe Country Group Crop Strategy Lead, Bayer.

Farmer: How can you summarize the 2023/2024 winter rapeseed season in a few sentences?

Szymon Hoppe: – Just like every season in agriculture is different, this one also surprised us a lot, for example in the cultivation of winter rapeseed. The current rapeseed season (2023/2024) started very early, and the rapeseed flowering period took place 2 to even 3 weeks earlier depending on the region of the country (the earliest in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, around April 4-5, 3 weeks earlier than standard in years) . Many factors contributed to this, primarily weather conditions. During the season, various weather anomalies could be observed. Temperatures reaching almost 30 degrees Celsius and night frosts, all this during the flowering period, which is very sensitive for rapeseed. This changing temperature also influenced the activity of beneficial insects that act as pollinators in rapeseed. On the other hand, we had extremely numerous and very early pest attacks. Currently, the most damage is observed in the case of the first stem pests (the swede beetle and the four-toothed beetle), but also in the case of the rapeseed beetle, which has been attacking plantations with a vengeance this season. Later in spring, there was no rainfall again. In fact, around mid-June some plantations began to enter the ripening phase (the driest regions where rapeseed bloomed the earliest).

Where did the ton of rapeseed go? There will be no record harvest this year

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Where did the ton of rapeseed go? There will be no record harvest this year

Which factors had the greatest limiting effect on rapeseed yield?

– To sum up this very specific rapeseed season, we can see that there were many unfavorable factors, and their combination resulted in a final reduction in rapeseed yields. Among the most important I would mention the following:

  • Disturbed flowering process of plants (too long flowering period; frosts that caused the abortion of pods; lack of pollinating insects),
  • A lot of pest pressure (stem weevils and rapeseed sweetworm),
  • Drought during the pod formation period (very low MTN, poor seed quality),
  • Strong disease pressure (especially verticillium wilt and brassica dry rot, to a lesser extent sclerotia rot)

The siliques are relatively short and the seeds are small. The quality of these seeds and weather conditions also resulted in lower fat content in the seeds.

Rape is growing poorly in Lower Silesia. There are no revelations

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Rape is growing poorly in Lower Silesia. There are no revelations

So what are the signals regarding winter rapeseed yields?

In southwestern Poland, these yield losses are much higher. On average, yields in this region range from 1.5 to 2.5 tons per hectare. Going up the country, the situation is improving a bit, but we still have to wait until the end of the harvest. However, at the moment, the negative yield correction looks to be around 0.5 to even 1.5 tons per ha, depending on the location, crop, etc. Last year, in many regions, the yields were very good, hence the jump from year to year is very noticeable. .

Thank you for talking to us.

These are further signals that, unfortunately, production results are not optimistic. This season is also proof that difficulties in protecting rapeseed, climate change and limitations in the range of active substances result in proverbial hiccups.

These are not the only problems of this season. Producers are worried about the price of seeds, which has begun to drop as the harvest progresses. In the case of low rapeseed yields and low prices, the profitability of growing winter rapeseed after this season may be seriously questioned.

The price of rapeseed has dropped significantly! PLN 60 in one day

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The price of rapeseed has dropped significantly! PLN 60 in one day

 

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