Find out what the NFU is doing for you on OSR

Oilseed rape_7740

As many of you will already know, at the start of the year the NFU crops team submitted a policy proposal to Defra about oilseed rape (OSR).

We are calling for the government to essentially underwrite the risk to growers of planting and establishing oilseed rape, as a short term measure to help stem the decline in plantings while research is being conducted to find a long term, sustainable solution since the ban of neonicotinoids. 

The pressure on the break crop has increased substantially following the boom in cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB) populations and the spread across the country.

Members can find more information about the policy proposal here.

Since we submitted the proposal, there have been some changes within Defra and we now have a new arable lead. Over the past few weeks we have been working with the team on the OSR situation and the risks around growing it.

We have provided a huge amount of evidence and information to help Defra grasp the severity of the situation.

The crops team provided video evidence to Defra explaining the risks of growing OSR due to cabbage stem flea beetle.

NFU President Minette Batters has also sent the Farming Minister Victoria Prentis a letter outlining the need for short-term support to bridge the gap until we find a longer-term solution and an effective method of controlling CSFB.

Read the NFU's letter to the Farming Minister here

We are continuing to work with Defra, but are acutely aware that time is ticking on throughout the season and that soon members will be looking at autumn drilling and next year’s rotations. We want to have something in place to aid planning and give growers the confidence to grow OSR.

Meanwhile, coronavirus is having an impact on the OSR market as well.

If any of you experience issues with rolling of OSR contracts or significant changes in movement, please let us know through NFU call first on: 0370 845 8458

Check our Covid-19 crops page here. 

We are working with other industry bodies on UK crop surveys to ensure the seriousness of the problem is properly represented.

There is also a substantial amount of promising research being undertaken at different institutes throughout the UK, but for this to continue the OSR industry needs investment – investment which will not come without a crop.

We all know OSR is a vital crop within the rotation and we hope to have a short term solution to support members to grow it. We are pushing harder than ever to get some imminent action from government to support farmers through this OSR crisis, starting with a response to our policy proposal. So, watch this space.

Crops board chairman Matt Culley sends his asks to Defra as part of the NFU's evidence and information package.

We are encouraging the general public to pull together and support British OSR farmers by promoting 100% British oil: 

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  • Posted by: Brian Mark DaviesPosted on: 02/05/2020 15:16:13

    Comment: Just get the ban on neonics lifted no scientific evidence that they harmed bees
  • Posted by: W BradleyPosted on: 13/05/2020 17:57:57

    Comment: Having lost 3 crops in 6 years I know the devestating impact of CSFB on OSR crops. The beetle is resistant to pyrethroids in my area so complete waste of time using them.
    I am convinced that the survival of the crop now depends on not hitting a beetle flight during establishment which is very hit and miss. I've used all establishment and timing methods available and none are guaranteed. Seed suppliers are being dishonest saying it's really not a problem. Companion crops fall into the same hit and miss pattern and are no dead cert either. Hence I'm ditching the crop this year. I can't afford to redrill every other year and now probably more often with no chemical controls available to me.