HUTCHINSONS~FieldWise-June2017 - Page 1

JUNE 2017
Desiccation Strategies
for Oilseed Rape
Neil Watson
Neil Watson (Hutchinsons Southern Region Technical Manager) considers the best options
for harvest management in oilseed rape crops this summer.
Desiccation policy is a vital
component in maintaining the
crop’s yield potential, whilst
ensuring a smooth and efficient
harvest. This being achieved by
evening up the crop’s maturity as
well as controlling any surviving
weeds. The options come down
to basically, chemical, mechanical
or nothing at all.
The options: 1) Glyphosate
Perhaps the most popular choice
as a harvest aid, particularly where
grass weeds or perennial weeds are
predominant. Less effective where
stems have been damaged due
to lodging (due to its reliance on
translocation through the plant). Aim
to apply early morning, as usually
there is less air movement then so
less potential to drift, also allowing
sufficient time to dry onto the leaf
before translocation. Remember in
areas of hard water, ensure water
conditioners are added to the tank
before glyphosate. Aim at around 30%
moisture content of the seed and a
minimum of 14 days before harvest.
Also remember Glyphosate cannot
be used on seed crops.
2) Diquat
Popular where quick burn down is
required, especially for weedy sites
(predominantly broadleaved weeds).
More likely to be the preferred option
on badly lodged crops. It will be
more important to get the combining
timing right following diquat use, in
order to avoid shatter/header losses,
particularly on exposed sites. Add a
non-ionic surfactant adjuvant that is
not an organosilicon, in accordance
with the manufacturer’s instructions.
3) Swathing
Less popular, primarily because of
cost in relation to alternatives. An
option for standing/ leaning crops
particularly on exposed sites (need
sufficient stubble height to keep
the swath well away from
the ground).
Performs well in thin plant stands, as it
kills thick stems more effectively.
4) Direct Combine
Only for the most even, weed-free crops.
Not generally an option for northern sites
(primarily due to lateness of harvest).
More likely to be a part, rather than the
whole acreage (as an aid to spread the
harvest date). Need to be prepared
to accept the crop will take longer to
ripen and ultimately be exposed to
the vagaries of the weather for longer.
Potential for higher drying costs.
Continue overleaf >>>
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2 BASIS Crop Protection
CPD points for 2017/18.
To claim your points, please email your
name and account number, plus the reference
Code: CP/58273/1718/g to

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