Adding Value To Locally Produced Oilseed Rape

March 19, 2012

Oilseed Rape is a very useful break crop grown by British farmers.  The yellow flowering plant is very distinctive, making large patches of yellow in the countryside in the late Spring and early Summer.  The oilseeds are stored on farm and then sent for processing.  The oil produced can be used in products such as biodiesel or used for cooking (R-Oil is a local well known brand).  It is important when storing OSR to achieve the right temperature (between 5 – 8 degrees Celcius), moisture (between 7  – 9 percent) and less than 2 percent admixture. The HGCA produce an excellent summary – ‘Grain storage guide for cereals and oilseeds‘.   However the process of storing OSR starts far earlier than achieving the right conditions in store.

OSR is usually desiccated whilst in the field.  This ensures that the crop dies off at the same time so should result in an even, dry, ripe field to harvest with the combine.  The combine should be set up to remove most of the straw, pods and weed seeds so that when the OSR arrives to be sampled before going into storage it has less than 2 percent admixture.  Sampling trailers is difficult due to access problems and ensuring a representative sample is obtained.  OSR testing and drying equipment is expensive and therefore a grant was applied for and awarded.

Project part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development 2007-2013: Europe investing in rural areas

A grant was received to assist towards the OSR sampling, testing and drying equipment.  The project was delivered through the South West of England Development Agency with Defra as the Managing Authority.

OSR sampling on intake

Each year the facilities and the protocols and procedures are inspected and certificated by NSF-CMI under the GTAS Scheme.

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