It’s been a mixed year for oilseed rape in the Ukraine holding of the Continental Farmers Group, the husbandry of which is undertaken by our ‘View from the East’ columnist, Dr Keith Dawson.

The crop to the left is Sherpa, which will be kept as a partial budget shows it needs to only yield 1.4t/ha to beat re-drilling with maize or soya. Dr Dawson added: “Drilled in the last week of August into very dry soil, some of the plants didn’t emerge until early October – but only 3% of our winter crops had such problems.

"Generally, we’ve had very little winter kill. However, three warm winters and last year’s dry winter have led to unprecedented mice damage. We need a pied piper! – hawk numbers have doubled!

“Spring drilling in our Ukraine holdings started at the earliest in 15 years. We have drilled 4000ha of spring wheat and fertilised 80000ha of winter crop in record time. The fear now is of crops running out of water later on, although winter crops have excellent rooting at depth.”

The picture on the right is more typical of how the OSR crops have come through the winter and the yield potential is very good.