A crop of Aspire oilseed rape has bounced back from the brink to reap a healthy yield and gross output – on world record holder, Tim Lamyman’s farm in Lincolnshire.

Drilling his crop of winter oilseed rape on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year – with 30mph winds and at a lower than normal seed rate – Mr Lamyman believed his crop of Aspire OSR would never reach its full potential.

However, the crop has surprised everyone after producing a gross output of 6.5t/ha with 45.4% oil content, only 0.5t/ha behind last year’s world record.

This conventional variety is in top position on the AHDB OSR recommend list for 2019/20, offering the highest gross output for both the east, west and north regions. It is TuYV resistant, suits early drilling and has short and stiff straw.

“We drilled the crop on the August 19 at 2.5 kg/ha. This was a mistake as we hadn’t realised the seed had been supplied in 2ha packs and not the standard 3ha packs that we use. So this meant that the crop was drilled at two-thirds of the standard seed rate,” he said.

“There was more bare ground than crop. I was threatening to plough it up and re-drill it with spring barley. The oilseed rape had also died in the combine trails where volunteers had used up the moisture and killed the rape plants.”

The crop was left in the ground over winter and spring, and Mr Lamyman walked the field with Ron Granger, of Limagrain UK. Both believed there could be lessons learnt following the mistakes, so the OSR was entered into the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) competition in the ‘yield potential’ category, which awards the three top OSR crops with the highest percentage of potential yield.

“Once I had committed to this, it was a case of really looking at what the crop needed in terms of nutrition and pushing it as hard as possible as it came out in the spring,” said Mr Lamyman.

In March, the crop received 1 l/ha XStress + 5 l/ha Delta K + 1 l/ha MagSulFlux (magnesium and sulphur). “The results were not as spectacular as I wanted, and I was ready to admit defeat and plough the crop up.”

However, he persevered and in April, applied 1 l/ha XStress + 5 l/ha Delta K + 2.5 l/ha TipTop + 0.25 l/ha Toprex. “By the end of April, I started to see the Aspire miraculously starting to grow and filling in some of the gaps.”

By May, the crop was really showing potential, so he gave it 1 l/ha XStress + 2.5 l/ha Delta + 0.5 l/ha Rainbow Wave + 0.5 l/ha CalFlux + 0.5 l/ha Amistar. In June, it got another 1 l/ha XStress + 0.5 l/ha Rainbow Wave + 0.5 l/ha CalFlux + 0.25 l/ha Proline.

“This was when the variety started to show its true colours. The crop really took off and the massive gaps every 7m across the field had disappeared. I had an OSR crop that had unbelievable height and branching, right from the base with fantastic sized pods,” he said.

"The Aspire crop was harvested on August 4 and the results have proved miraculous considering the tough start of the crop. After all, it’s only 0.5t/ha less than we had in our record-breaking oilseed rape crop last year!”