New analysis of the predicted gross margins for winter break crops shows oilseed rape remains the most profitable.

United Oilseeds says despite challenging establishment in the 2018-19 season the business case for planting oilseed rape remains undeniably strong.

The farmer-owned cooperative has today published fresh data comparing returns from the UK’s most popular break crops and is urging growers to take a well-rounded view when planning next season’s cropping.

Chris Baldwin, managing director of United Oilseeds, said the data should cement oilseed rape’s position in the rotation.

“Our estimated gross margins for 2019 harvest* (from November 2018) are £714/ha for conventional oilseed rape while HOLL (High Oleic, Low Linolenic) varieties are significantly more at £774/ha,” he said.

“Comparing that with other popular break crops, our modelling predicts winter linseed will return £421/ha and winter beans £460/ha.

“Oilseed rape returns also stack up well against winter feed barley at £609/ha and even a crop of second feed wheat at £643/ha.”

On 24 May oilseed rape was trading at over £300/tonne before quality and premium bonuses.

HOLL varieties offer growers new market opportunities plus a minimum guaranteed premium of £25/tonne from United Oilseeds before bonuses for oil, moisture and admixture.

Chris added: “It’s expected that in the next five years there will be a significant rise in area of HOLL varieties planted from the current 14,000ha to 75,000ha, as more food businesses demand ‘healthier’ oil.

“British HOLL oilseed rape is high quality, sustainable and extremely profitable. Our members are well placed to serve this increase in demand.”