Rapeseed Farming Guide With All details of cultivation practice

Rapeseed is one of the major rabi crops we all know rapeseed is an important oil crop which is a very important source of edible oil. We know it as the third important edible oil after mustard and palm oil. In this blog on rapeseed farming, we are going to share all the important steps of rapeseed cultivation with beginning to advance level.

Introduction of Rapeseed

rapeseed introduction

In this post, we are going to describe all important facts about rapeseed health importance & Rapeseed farming.

The botanical name of rapeseed is- Brassica napus L, the origin of rapeseed is Poland, it comes from the Kingdom Plantae, belong to the family Brassicaceae. This is the botanical description of rapeseed that we all should know.

Rapeseed is one of the important rabi crops all over the world. We commonly know it as Rai, Raiya, Toria or Lahi. We also know rapeseed oil as Canola Oil and Colza Oil.

Health Benefits Of Rapeseed.

Only 15 ml of Rapeseed Oil Can provide

  • Saturated fat Up to 1 gram
  • Vitamin C Approx 16% Of daily food value 
  • Vitamin K Approx 8% of daily food value
  • Total fat Approx 14 gram
  • Total Calories Approx 124 

Important Health Benefits Of Rapeseed

It Also contains Monounsaturated Fat Approx  9 grams and Polyunsaturated Fat Approx 4 grams. Rapeseed is also one of the enormous sources of Vitamin E and as we know that vitamin E is very much important for the proper maintenance of skin and eyes in the human body.

It contains an outrageous amount of Monounsaturated Fat approx 9 gram above mentioned which is good for heart health, Rapeseed also contains rarely found Omega oil which is mainly found in the fish or the product of fishes, Omega oil is very much beneficial for our brain health, one more important feature of omega oil is it acts as an antioxidant in the human body and also help to maintain the joints of the human body, as we know that joint pain is the major problem of current time so is also helpful for joint of the human body.

As we know that obesity is one of the major problems of the human body and the main cause of obesity is saturated fat, and the solution for this problem is Rapeseed oil because it contains very less amount saturated fat approx  0.7 grams which is also less than coconut oil which contains approx 12 grams and so-called healthy olive oil also contain approx  1.6 gram of saturated fat.

The main reason behind the popularity of rapeseed is the easy availability in the market and supermarket and another reason is the availability in different flavours which makes it more tasty, and we can easily use it in different food recipes to make family favorite dishes.

It is one of the most suitable food products for vegetarians because it contains all essential vitamins, proper amounts of fat and lipids. It is a gluten-free food., not any preservative is added, not a genetically changed crop.

It requires an exorbitant amount of temperature of approx 230c, which is much higher than olive oil. It does not burn at low temperature, as we know that burned oil has a high risk of cancer.

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Uses Of Rapeseed

Rapeseed

We use rapeseed in three major ways: Animal Feed, vegetable oil, Biodiesel

Animal Feed

The first thing is we do not directly feed Rapeseed to the animals, byproduct of the rapeseed is used to feed to the animals. It is the most commonly used feed for cattle and we also used it as the feed for pig and poultry.

We used it as animal feed because it contains a large amount of protein, and there is also one major drawback of feeding rapeseed cake to animals rapeseed cake contains 50% of erucic acid that degrades the value of feed because it damages the muscles of animals.

Vegetable oil

Rapeseed oil is one of the oldest edible oil in human history. But in current time, we have limited the use because it contains large amounts of erucic acid and we know that reducing acid is not good for human health. It damages the cardiac muscles of the human body. From rapeseed, we get consumable canola oil because it contains less amount of erucic acid. Canola oil is safe to consume, also advised by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Biodiesel

It can be surprising for you, but yes, it is used as biodiesel. We can use rapeseed oil as an alternative to diesel fuel. It can be used in motor vehicles directly or by mixing with petroleum products. We use biodiesel in the pure form for new engines. It doesn’t damage the engine. Commonly, we use it after mixing it with fossil fuel at different ratios.

Rapeseed biodiesel is very much costly because it includes the cost of growing, cost of crushing, cost of refining, which makes it more costly than standard diesel.

Other Use Of Rapeseed.

rabi crop rapeseed

Rapeseed contains the bio-lubricant that is very much helpful for human health to treat joint pain. We also used rapeseed oil to provide moisture to the dry skin on dry days.

Rapeseed is the first choice for the beekeepers because honey got from rapeseed is whitish, milky or yellowish. The taste is peppery, and this is the reason behind the high demand for rapeseed honey.

The most common use is farmers use as a cover crop during winter. It is also helpful for the improvement of soil health. Because of the fast growth, it suppresses the growth of the weed plant in the field.

Rapeseed is used as the fodder crop  70 to 80 days after planting it is cut and used as a feeding purpose for animals.

Rapeseed Farming

rapeseed seeds

Season For Cultivation.

It is one of the most important Crops for the rabi season. The sowing of crops starts from the month of August and continues till the month of November.

The sowing of the rapeseed in the Asian region just before the mustard.

Soil Requirement For rapeseed farming

We can cultivate rapeseed on a variety of soil, from sandy loam to clay soil. The drainage system of the field should be good for proper rapeseed farming. Waterlogged condition in the field is not good for proper rapeseed cultivation.

We cannot do rapeseed farming in saline and alkaline soil. The PH of the field for the proper rapeseed cultivation should be between 6.5 to 7.5.

Neutral soil that is not acidic or not basic is best for the cultivation of rapeseed.

Land Preparation for Rapeseed Farming

The seedbed should be a fine, big particle of the soil should be broken into fine granules. This is most suitable for rapeseed cultivation.

Before sowing, we should remove all waste particles from the field like weed, plastic and other waste material that can damage the crops.

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Seed Rate And Spacing For Rapeseed Farming

We grow rapeseed in the row and the distance between the rows should be 30 cm.

The seed Rate that is ideal for rapeseed farming should be 4 to 6 kg per ha.

We have to do thinning once after the 3 weeks of seed showing.

Process Of Sowing for Rapeseed Cultivation

We do Seed treatment with fungicides before sowing, it will protect the seed from fungal disease and soil born disease.

Commonly we do rapeseed sowing by the country plough or ferti cum seed drill machines.

The depth of seed in the soil that we are maintaining during sowing should be 3 to 4 cm depth. It is best for the proper growth and development of rapeseed plants.

After sowing the seed, we should cover the seed with a thin layer of soil.

We have to maintain the proper amount of moisture in the soil during sowing.

Manure and Fertilizer Requirement for Rapeseed Farming.

As we know, oilseeds crop require a lot of nutrients from the soil.

We have to apply 15 to 20 tons of FYM (farmyard manure), for decreasing the chemical fertilizer requirement we can also use green manure crops incorporation before sowing during the field preparation period.

We will suggest doing soil testing before applying any chemical fertilizer in the field.

It needs 60 kg per hectare nitrogen,40 kg P2O5, 40 kg K2O

Bio-fertilizer Azotobacter can be also used in rapeseed.

Irrigation Requirement For Rapeseed Cultivation.

The total water requirement for rapeseed farming is 400 mm per hectare. We recommend sprinkle irrigation for cultivation.

There are two critical stages of irrigation during rapeseed cultivation in which irrigation is must required; first one is Preflowering stage and the second is Pod filling stage. These are the two very critical stages for irrigation in rapeseed.

It required 2 to 3 irrigation for rapeseed during the entire cultivation period.

Inter-cultivation and mulching are the processes by which it decreases the requirement of water in the crop during rapeseed farming. 

Proper weed Management For Rapeseed Cultivation

The most common weeds in rapeseed cultivation are Chenopodium album, C. murale, Convolvulus arvensis and Melitotus alba.

Management Of these Weeds

Proper intercultural operations should be done.

We do the first intercultural operation after 5 to 8 days of 1st irrigation.

We also do the hand hoeing method during the intercultural operation because it will help in the soil aeration and also conserve the moisture of the soil. We can also use chemical herbicides for the removal of weed from rapeseed fields.

In adverse conditions, we can use Pendimethalin pre-emergence at 0.1 to 1.5 kg /ha, We also use Fluchloralin at 1.25kg/ha.

Cropping systems For Rapeseed Cultivation

In one year cropping system Fallow Period- millet/rapeseed

Rice / Rapeseed also can be grown

INTERCROPPING

Rapeseed cultivation + chickpea cultivation
Mustard + sugarcane + Bengal Gram
Mustard cultivation + barley cultivation / wheat cultivation / red gram
Potato + Rapeseed

Disease

In rapeseed farming, we have to protect our fields from spreading the disease. There are these three most common diseases of rapeseed.

  • First, the most common disease is Alternaria Blight 
  • The second disease of rapeseed is White Blister
  • The third Disease of rapeseed is Downy Mildew

Alternaria Blight 

Alternaria blight is one of the most common diseases in legumes crops, it is a fungal disease, the causal organism of this fungal disease is Alternaria cucumerina. We can identify Alternaria blight by seeing a black spot, it can be on leaves, stem and sometimes on a pod of rapeseed as well.

There is not any biological control of Alternaria Blight till now.

Cultural Control

We can control Alternaria Blight by proper crop rotation, inter-cropping is also the way of controlling this disease, the scientist also suggests to reduce the plant population so that it will control the spread of the disease.

Chemical Control of Alternaria Blight

Pesticides come With Chlorothalonil and Chlorothalonil mixture is helpful in controlling disease, Copper Fungicides is also very effective in the control of Alternaria Blight disease.

Alternaria Blight of rapeseed

White Blister

The white blister is a fungal disease caused by Albugo candida. It causes big economic loss to the crop, the major problem in this disease will not come alone, it will come with Downy Mildew, it affects the flower of the plant and causes yield loss.

Cultural Control

Keep the field neat and clean, remove all unwanted plants from the field. Proper crop rotation is also a way to control this disease, before sowing proper exposure of the field to the sun after tillage plays a major role in controlling the fungal disease.

Chemical Control of White Blister

Proper seed treatment with antifungals will control this disease, when we see symptoms on the leaves spray 0.2% Ridomil this will control White Blister.

white blister of rapeseed

Downy Mildew

Downy Mildew is caused by fungal-like organism, the causal organism is Peronospora parasitica. First, it will damage the leaves and after this, it will start damaging flowers and pods of the plant.

Downy Mildew control

There Is not any biological control of Downy Mildew till now.

Resistant variety is the solution of this disease, many tolerant varieties is also there which controls this disease. As compared to flooding system, sprinkle irrigation and drip irrigation can control fungal infection it suppresses the growth of fungus.

After seeing the symptoms on the plant, we will suggest spraying 2% Zineb or 0.1% Karathane two to three times at proper intervals.

Downy Mildew of rapeseed

Insects And Pests In Rapeseed Cultivation

We have to protect our rapeseed farming from many types of insects and pests, and this protection starts from the sowing of seeds to harvesting and storage.

The most common insect pests of Rapeseed are 

  • Bihar Hairy Caterpillar
  • Mustard Aphid
  • Cabbage Butterfly

Bihar Hairy Caterpillar

The botanical name Bihar Hairy Caterpillar is Spilosoma obliqua

It will start feeding on the leaves of the plant, then flowers, fruits and pods. This will cause enormous economic loss to the farmers, the major problem in controlling Bihar Hairy Caterpillar ? is its speed of damage, it damages the plant so fast as compared to other insects.

Bihar Hairy Caterpillar control

Field sanitization is one of the good ways to control these insects. Remove all the insect infected plant from the field and bury them to make compost.

We will suggest using a light trap in the field to control Bihar hairy caterpillar, inter-cropping is also a way to control the Bihar hairy caterpillar, spacing between the plants, deep summer ploughing, using the proper amount of seed rate is the most common way from that we use to control the Bihar hairy caterpillar.

Insecticide To Control Bihar Hairy Caterpillar

  • The first insecticide is BHC 10% used as dust at 20 kg ha.
  • The second insecticide is Malathion 50 EC used at 1 – 1.25 Litre in 1000 Litre of water per hectare
  • The third insecticide is Thiodan 35 EC used at 1 – 1.25 Litre in 1000 Litre of water per hectare
  • The fourth insecticide is Fenitrothion 50EC at 1 – 1.25 Litre in 1000 Litre of water per hectare

We are not suggesting here to use all insecticides at the time given above, it depends on the market availability.

Bihar Hairy Caterpillar of rapeseed

Mustard Aphid

Mustard aphids have a piercing and sucking type of mouthpart so they use to suck and feed on the leaves, twigs, stem and pods of the plant, the insect first attack on the delegate part of the plant like new leaves and twigs after this they will directly damage the flowers of the plant and with this the pod formation will directly get effected it will cause a major economic loss to the farmers.

Mustard Aphid control

We will suggest using resistant variety, removing the damaged part of the plant from the field and burying them. We will also suggest using sticky trap in the field and the colour of that trap should be yellow. It will attract more insects.

We have used oxydemeton methyl, dimethoate at 625-1000 ml per ha during the flowering stage and it controlled the Mustard Aphid so we will suggest farmers use this.

Mustard Aphid of rapeseed

Cabbage Butterfly

The size of the insect is 3 to 5 cm depending on the favorable temperature and environment of the insect. It mainly feeds on the leaves initially, after that it starts feeding on the stems and pods of the plant and cause major economic loss to the farmer.

Cabbage Butterfly control

Handpicking it one by one from the plants is the most common way to control the population of this insect in rapeseed farms, if it don’t work and the population of insects is increasing continuously then we suggest you spray Malathion 50 EC at 1 L/ha to control Cabbage Butterfly.

Cabbage Butterfly of rapeseed

Maturity and Harvesting

The Colour of the whole plant, colour of leaves, stem and silique turn pale yellow from green colour. This is the proper sign of maturity.

After the Maturity, Threshing Starts.

Process of Threshing is done either manually or by Machine. It can be done by walking bullocks or running a tractor.

After cleaning and drying, moisture content should be not over 8 to 10 %

flower of rapeseed

Average Yield After Cultivation.

For irrigated Rapeseed yield is approx 1.5 to 2.0 tons per ha.

For rainfed rapeseed yield is approx 1.0 to 1.5 tons per ha.

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I have collected all this knowledge from my own experiences and studying books. Some educational sites also help me a lot like bugwood to know about the uncommon diseases in plants.