Did you ‘HEAR’ about this oilseed rape crop?

High Erucic Acid Rape (HEAR) is a crop of oilseed rape grown for its end use in industry, mainly in the manufacturing of lubricants.

While it is managed in the same way as a standard crop of oilseed rape, it has the potential to return more money to the grower.

Chris Spedding of Premium Crops spoke about the crop on a live webinar as part of the Cereals Event in the UK this week. He described how prices of £400/t are available to growers for harvest 2021.

Same agronomy

From a management and an agronomy point-of-view, HEAR is the same as a regular crop of oilseed rape so growers who are familiar with the crop should not notice any difference.

Chris also pointed out that the seed price is the same; it has the same characteristics and the same hybrid benefits.

The same contract options are available and forward selling or sale at harvest are also available in the UK and a premium is paid per tonne.

“The highest yield we’ve seen in the last three years collected from the farm is 6.2t/ha, but we certainly have many, many crops achieving in excess of 5t/ha,” Chris noted.

He stated that where those yields are met growers will achieve a gross margin in excess of £200/t compared to a normal oilseed rape crop. He advised growers to ensure they have a contract in place before they plant the crop.

HEAR crops in Ireland

At the end of April, AgriLand caught up with Glanbia agronomist Jayne Smyth who told us about crops of HEAR being grown here in Ireland.

Glanbia growers planted approximately 500ac of the crop last autumn. The variety planted was Ergo. The image at the top of the article shows a HEAR crop being grown for Glanbia at the end of April.