Oilseed rape competition added to the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN)

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The Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) is being expanded for the 2017 season and will now include an oilseed rape competition.  The YEN aims to foster and energise a new culture of yield enhancement and innovation in the arable industry.  The OSR YEN will include a yield competition which is open to everyone and provide an understanding of yield on each entrants own farm. It will provide an opportunity to test the entrant’s agronomy skills and innovative ideas. The key aim is to get as close as possible to the yield potential of the entrants chosen site, but could the UK record yield also be broken? All growers who participate will benefit both from an analysis of the components of yield on their farm, and from an understanding of how to improve yields in future years. It is an industry initiative supported by corporate sponsorship and managed by ADAS, but is open to all organisations, agronomists and farmers. 

Oilseed rape competition added to the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN)

The OSR YEN yield competition 2017: The aims of the OSR YEN will be achieved by running an annual yield competition to encourage innovation and provide data to improve understanding of yield formation. The competition will consider yield relative to land potential, so all farmers together with their agronomists, can learn from the experiences of all participants. The current UK record for an OSR yield is more than 6.5 t/ha set in 2015, but biophysical potentials of UK arable fields can be more than 10 t/ha. Compared to these numbers, the actual average yield is 3.5 t/ha, so there are improvements to be made. The recent issues with CSFB and slugs will also act as a spur for growers and agronomists to understand better how to ensure vigorous crop establishment

The competition will have separate categories for trial plots and commercial field entries. Each entrant will receive a forecast of their potential yield, based on average weather and soil details for their site. After harvest their actual verified yield will be compared with the seasonal yield potential, based on actual weather conditions. The gross margin over variable costs will be calculated. Protocols for site and crop description and for yield verification will be available shortly. Awards will be made for both maximum seed yield and maximum % of the potential yield (below potential seasonal yield), in both the whole field and the trial plot categories.

Results Conference: The results will be presented at an annual conference in November with analysis of results to inspire further innovation and research. Data from the yield competition will be used to identify the most common factors constraining yields in the UK, which will allow future research to be focussed. Husbandry practices which are associated with high yields will also be identified.


Corporate sponsors: Current sponsors are: Adama, ADM, AgSpace, AHDB, CF Fertilisers, DSV, Elsoms, Hutchinsons, Monsanto, NRM, RAGT and Yara. Sponsors receive recognition for sponsorship and support of the network and includes multiple competition entries, access to the OSR YEN database, access to network information through email bulletins and the website, and attendance at the annual conference.

Open members: Farmers, agronomists and other organisations can join the network through the yield competition and will have access to network information through email bulletins and the website and can attend the annual conference.


The competition is open to anyone in the British Isles, or indeed further afield.  There will be separate competitions for experimental plots and field crops – total harvested experimental plot area must be at least 50 m2, and field areas must be at least 2 hectares. 

How you manage the crop is up to you, so think differently, use new techniques, novel inputs, free the crop from constraints ….

Each entry will receive:

  • An estimate of yield potential, based on soil and average climate data
  • After harvest – an estimate of actual yield potential based on the season’s weather
  • An estimate of the light and water resources captured
  • Validation of the harvested yield
  • Oil and protein analysis of the seed
  • Measurement of total biomass and harvest index as well as nutrient uptake
  • Satellite images
  • Soil analysis
  • Invitation to annual results and analysis conference
  • An estimation of gross margin (using standard figures)

Each entrant will be expected to:

  • Record a minimum level of data for input into a secure YEN database e.g. field location, soil information, dates of sowing and key growth stages.  Records of seed, fertiliser and chemical inputs will also be of interest, but are not essential if you prefer to keep them secret! 
  • Abide by the competition rules (available shortly)
  • Provide an overhead photograph of the crop at the 2-3 leaf stage (containing an A4 sheet of paper for scale) and just before stem extension
  • Provide a ‘grab sample’ of the whole crop and the seed for analysis (protocol available shortly)

There are two ways of entering the competition

  1. Through one of the sponsors listed above, who may add your site to their competition entries
  2. Through ADAS at £250 +VAT per site entered

Entries from groups or organisations are welcome. Multiple entries may receive a discount. Extra attendees (over one per entry) at the annual conference in November are welcome, at £50 each. 

Registration will be via the OSR YEN website which will be available in December, however you can pre-register now, or make any general enquiries, by emailing

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