First Crop Leaves The Hawthorns

September 22, 2009

The first load of Oil Seed Rape left the farm today. It was collected by a haulage company acting for United Oilseeds.  The rape seed which are small and dark purple / black in colour comes from the bright yellow plant which can be seen flowering in late April to early May.  It is a member of the Brassica family (like mustard and cabbage.)

Oil Seed Rape being loaded onto a lorry

Oil Seed Rape being loaded onto a lorry

Loading OSR

Last Tip so Scrumpy the dog is off home for breakfast

Oil Seed Rape is grown on the farm because it provides a useful break crop meaning it helps to get rid of the weeds and pests for the subsequent crop of wheat.  Oil Seed Rape has been planted at The Hawthorns since 1995 and is grown in each field every four years.  It is sown in the Autumn (though there are varieties for Spring planting) and is one of the first crops to be harvested on the farm in late July.  This year the crop was established for the first time using the Claydon Drill (see previous blogs).  The area planted was 97 hectares yielding an average of 3.7 tonnes / hectare this harvest.  The price received for a tonne of rape varies daily but is currently about £220 / tonne ex farm.  The rape seeds produce an oil that is used in cooking, food processing and animal feed. It is also processed for use as biodiesel.


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