An Oil Seed Rape Conference sponsored by Monsanto in Portugal was held recently in Beja, Baixo Alentejo, with the cooperation of the local Monsanto and Great Plains distributor, A. Cano Associados S.A. The event attracted an audience of more than 70 farmers keen to exploit the potential of the crop underlined by last year’s yields.
All aspects of the oil seed rape crop were addressed through the course of the day in six different information-packed presentations.
Simon Revell, Great Plains Export Director, presented the Great Plains one-pass establishment system, using the X-Press and ST Bar combination together with the optional small seeds applicator. Simon’s presentation detailed some of the key advantages of the system including better soil preparation and consolidation, reduced compaction, higher seeding accuracy and, ultimately, the significant reductions in crop establishment costs that could be achieved. As a result of the information given, several farmers, new to the crop, contacted A Cano in order to use the Great Plains system.
Two Monsanto representatives explained, respectively, the general crop management and the Monsanto seed portfolio for the crop. Special attention was given to the differences between winter and spring varieties, and to the high importance that good seeding has in the success of the crop.
The “crop account” was covered in some detail by a representative from A Cano. The presentation identified what the costs are, which ones are key to the final result, and how those costs could be mitigated. Among the potential cost-savings identified by A Cano was improved efficiency in cultivations using the Great Plains one-pass system which was covered in more detail in the Great Plains’ presentation.
Commercialisation of the crop was another key topic covered in the conference. Prices, different uses, contracts and procedures were addressed by Sovena’s purchase manager. Sovena, a Portuguese company, is a world authority in the olive oil market and is looking to take a leading role in developing the oilseed market for biodiesel in the country. Special pricing arrangements for sustainable oilseed rape production were presented and were of particular interest to the attendees.