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We have been covering Oilseed Rape for a number of months now and in the UK we are finally reaching growth stages 8 (Pod and seed ripening) & 9 (Plant senescence) where Skippy Scout can help influence management decisions in the lead up to harvest.

Image: AHDB growth stages SG7 & 8

Pods have now developed in OSR across the UK from pollinated oilseed rape flowers. Within each pod a central inner wall creates two compartments and the seeds develop in a row within each compartment. Once seeds have expanded to fill the pod cavity, ripening of the pods and seeds start. The seeds start off soft and green (GS8). Seeds then turn brown and, when mature, become hard and black.

Seed numbers are critical in reaching optimal yield at harvest, “At least 100,000 seeds/m2 are required to achieve a yield of 5 t/a” says AHDB.

To reach the optimal yield at harvest of course, the seed set and weight are both crucial contributing factors, these can be heavily influenced by the thickness of the canopy, photosynthesis, warmth, drought, root depth, disease or early desiccation.

So how can Skippy help with management this late in the season?
Skippy Scout’s reports provide the following “post-flowering ratios”:

  • Pod development ratio 
  • Ripening ratio 
  • Senescence ratio

As seen below…

Image: Skippy Scout report, scout point page

Skippy Scout generates a comprehensive report, allowing you to gain valuable insights into pre-harvest quality and variability of your crop.

The report includes ratios for pod development, ripening and senescence and provides detailed close-up imagery of the canopy, allowing you to explore areas that are now inaccessible when crop walking. With the latest update of the Skippy Scout app, you can now incorporate notes into your reports, facilitating progress monitoring and making it easier to share with agronomists, farm workers, or anyone else requiring the information. 

Skippy Scout’s post-flowering ratios can have an impact on determining the optimal timings for desiccation spraying and harvesting, thereby influencing the decision making process. Growers now have the ability, through Skippy Scout, to make these management decisions accurately and most importantly, save time and money.

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