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Oilseed Rape Desiccation 2012

OSR crops this year are big, leaning / lodged with a long flowering period and with plenty of moisture under them. Getting the best from desiccation will be especially important this year and a few moments on this will be time well spent.

The key issues:

 When to apply? Look at the seeds, not the colour of the pods. Pick 20 pods at random from the middle of the main raceme. If at least two thirds of the seeds / pod have changed from green to brown, the earliest correct stage for spraying has been reached. Best to be slightly too early than too late..

Rate. The higher the rate, the more rapid the action will be  - 2kg/ha Roundup Max will bequicker than 1.5kg.

Adjuvant. Important, especially in hard water areas. Katalyst at 0.1% (increase to 0.15% for very hard water situations) is an excellent choice but remember that it must go into the tank first to take out metal ions before adding Roundup.

Application.

This can make a significant difference. You are trying to kill a senescing plant where translocation within the plant will be poor, and therefore there are quite a few different things that you can do to make a difference:

Water Volume. Unlike most glyphosate applications this year higher water volumes should be used to help ensure good coverage. For most sprayers 200lt/ha would be a good rate to use, but don’t go above 250lt/ha.

Nozzles. Penetration into the canopy is important so aim for a medium coarse spray.

Speed. Spray penetration into the canopy will be better at slower speeds. Aim for 8 -10kph - with a maximum of 12kph.

Time of Day. Humidity will make a difference, so apply in the morning.

How quickly will it work? The weather will play a big part in this. If cool and cloudy, up to 4 weeks? If hot and sunny - quicker.  

What if the crop is fully lodged with stem that have kinked?

Roundup will not be anywhere near as effective as it can’t be translocated to the roots. In these situations we may have to resort to Reglone. However this is 50% more expensive and needs 400lts water per hectare to work.

Swathing may also be a option for some but the swath needs to sit on a good high stubble to allow air through to dry it out; if not it will rot. You’d also be well advised to go through the crop pre-swathing with Iskay to seal the pods as the risk of shatter is far higher. Both of these options are a last resort.

Benefits of Using Iskay in Oilseed Rape

Iskay is a specialist pod sticker designed to minimise seed loss due to pod shatter, before and during harvest of oilseed rape (and other podded crops, such as field beans and peas).

We now have three years experience of this product and all feedback has been very positive from use in oilseed rape. Use alone in direct cut crops, or in tank mix with pre-harvest desiccants.

The most common observations have been:

The combine driver notices far fewer oilseed rape seeds coming up off the header and hitting the windscreen.

There were far fewer rape volunteers in the stubble where the Iskay had been used.

There were no reports of Iskay treated crops 'bunging up the combine' – as has been the case with some earlier products. These effects have resulted in yield increases of over 0.5t/ha (conservatively 0.25t/ha) in direct cut crops, as well as in those desiccated with Roundup. So, at last we seem to have a pod sticker that actually works! 

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