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Frontier takes on financial risk associated with growing OSR so farmers don’t have to

24th June 2024

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Through an industry-leading new contract Frontier Agriculture is removing much of the financial risk associated with growing oilseed rape, helping growers to protect the resilience of their farm businesses.

Frontier’s oilseed rape de-risking partnership is an exclusive offer that ensures growers who fulfil certain contract requirements only pay for oilseed rape seed that survives the key establishment window.

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Seed director, Sam Brooke, explains: “Oilseed rape remains a profitable break crop for UK growers, but its success is heavily dependent on good establishment.

“This has become increasingly challenging in recent seasons given the impact of difficult weather and continued threats such as cabbage stem flea beetle. The resilience of farm businesses is critical for continuity of supply, but when shouldering much of the risk associated with growing the crop it can be difficult for some farmers to justify it in the rotation - it needs to be commercially sustainable.”

Thanks to its end-to-end supply relationships, Frontier is uniquely placed to provide farmers with additional security. Sam continues: “Through our de-risking model we hope farmers can make the most of strong market opportunities for oilseed rape without having to bear the financial burden in a scenario where the crop fails.”

Frontier’s commitments

Under the scheme, Frontier will defer the payment on oilseed rape and accompanying companion crop seed until September 2025, as long as orders are placed before September 2024*. For any oilseed rape that fails toCapture jim establish by 31st October, the seed cost will be entirely waived (or partially if only some of the crop fails).

The scheme includes market-leading hybrid options so growers stand the best chance of a successful crop, with eligible varieties including LG Adeline, Murray, LG Wagner, Matrix CL and Crocodile.

“These varieties have all performed well across a number of seasons,” explains seed business development manager, Jim Knightbraid, “with technical evidence from trials consistently demonstrating strong vigour and good yield.

“With the deferred payment, growers will benefit from an upfront cost saving of approximately £90/ha on any of the seed, plus £33/ha on the accompanying companion crop.”

Any grower using Frontier’s agronomy services is eligible for the contract, including new customers and those who only use it for the oilseed rape crop.

“We want to ensure growers entered into the contract are supported as much as possible with the establishment and management of their oilseed rape crop,” says crop production technical lead, Dr Paul Fogg.

Capture paulIt remains an important part of the rotation but it is a crop that requires the right attention to detail and investment if it is to succeed. The financial support via the contract helps to mitigate risk in the event of failure, but access to the right agronomic expertise is paramount for success.”

Through Frontier’s agronomy service, growers will be supported with everything from variety selection to suit the geography of the farm through to rotational planning, establishment considerations, timing and input strategies.  




Support for companion cropping

A condition of the contract is that growers must sow an approved Kings Crops companion crop alongside their oilseed rape. Jim explains: “We are confident that companion crops have a positive role to play in the establishment of oilseed rape. Additionally, a payment of £55/ha is available for companion cropping under the IPM3 action of the Sustainable Farming Incentive. This funding provides an additional buffer against the cost of establishing oilseed rape.”

Expertise around the most appropriate companion crop mix to use will be available to committed growers via Kings Crops’ technical advisors, who will also provide support on mix selection and management under the SFI rules.  

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Flexible marketing options

Key to the scheme is flexibility around marketing and storage, with Frontier keen to provide growers with a range of options so they can opt for the strategy best suited to their business.

“We want to offer as much flexibility when trading with Frontier as possible, so growers can sell as a produce of area, via a Frontier crush scheme or oilseed rape pool, choose deferred movement and even upgrade to privately funded contracts in the future that offer additional rewards for sustainable farming practices,” says Sam.

Growers interested in the de-risking partnership can commit via their Frontier farm trader or agronomist, or express their interest by calling 01522 860000.  


*Seed under the oilseed rape de-risking contract can be purchased from Frontier, Kings Crops, GFP Agriculture and Belmont Seeds.


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