For the past 30 years, DEKALB® has been at the forefront of improvements for the crop known as oilseed rape, colza or canola — depending in which part of the world it is grown. In Europe, this crop is a major return-on-investment for farmers, which is typically used in vegetable oils, cooking oils and biofuels.
The experts at DEKALB® have always believed that minimising the risks and maximising the flexibility of oilseed rape production is as important as raising output potential. They work in close partnership with local growers and farmers to understand their changing priorities, keeping efforts firmly focused on providing their customers with the best solutions to the daily challenges they face.
So why do European farmers grow oilseed rape in the first place? Between 6.5 and 7.5 million hectares are grown each year in the main producing countries, generating an annual rapeseed harvest of up to 25 million tonnes.
According to Andrew Ward, MBE of Roy Ward (Farms): ‘’Osr is a profitable crop, it’s the first crop to be drilled and it ripens early at harvest which spreads the workload. This earliness is a huge benefit in helping me to control the problem weed, blackgrass.’’
Each tonne of oilseed rape yields around 450 litres of high quality oil, with a wide variety of home, manufacturing and catering uses. Not only this, but 580 kg per tonne produced from the rapeseed oil extraction process is sought-after as a high-protein animal feed for livestock for cows, pigs and sheep.
Rapeseed is normally processed in two steps: physical pressing of the rapeseed and subsequent hexane extraction of the remaining oil in a press-cake.
Increasing European crop performance and strong domestic demand for rapeseed oil means oilseed rape is highly profitable to grow today.
Rapeseed oil is less vulnerable to world market fluctuations than feed grains, and more uptake of this crop could help Europe become more self-sufficient in vegetable oil production.
The rapeseed crop is also a first-class crop for harvest crop rotations. This allows natural cycles of cereal disease, weeds and insect pest build-up to be effectively broken. And, pressure is taken off for future cereal crop harvests, enabling yields to be increased and growing costs to be reduced.
If you’re interested in oilseed rape or looking for growing advice for harvest 2017, DEKALB® offers you the opportunity to chat to an expert.