If anything, seed trade expectations could underestimate the growth in the UK Clearfield oilseed rape area this autumn, according to the latest national grower intelligence.

A late-June OSR establishment study run independently for leading breeder, DEKALB with more than 120 winter OSR growers across the country suggests a more than doubling of the Clearfield acreage from its current level.

The study involved growers from 21 counties harvesting a total of more than 11,500 ha of winter OSR this season. Their planting intentions suggest a further noticeable year-on-year rise  in the national OSR area is on the cards for harvest 2019, with Clearfield accounting for the vast majority of this increase.

Indeed, the figures indicate Clearfield plantings are set to rise by 110% from 2018 levels – the majority of current growers planning to significantly expand their crops this autumn and nearly twice as many farms overall intending to plant CL varieties. At the same time, more growers are looking to go 100% Clearfield.

“As ever, the extent to which these intentions will translate into actual plantings will depend, more than anything else, on the weather,” noted DEKALB northwest Europe commercial manager, Geoff Hall.  “But they clearly indicate grower confidence both in oilseed rape in general and in the sort of high performance, high reliability Clearfield varieties in which we specialise, in particular.

“European rapeseed market prospects have been noticeably stronger of late and analysts are more positive about the future than they’ve been for a while. Alongside this, the lack of yield lag and lower establishment and marketing risks associated with our leading Clearfield varieties are clearly proving an obvious attraction for growers.”