Dunsden Green Farm, South Oxfordshire - Alpaga Winter Linseed

Produced with the kind permission of Simon Beddows

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The initial grassweed strategy for the winter linseed,  was initially to apply Fusilade Max to take out the barley volunteers and then come back with Centurion Max for the grass weeds. Thanks to the rain, applications went straight to the Centurion on the first decent spray day. The rain has provided excellent germination conditions for the grass weeds. A Crawler application was planned, but with the Centurion max having shown excellent control of the grass weeds and volunteer cereals, the grower has opted not to.

Alpaga, winter linseed, well established in time for winter

There is some disease on the cotyledons; Kabatiella Linicola, a similar disease to Phoma in oilseed rape (see Figure 2). This will need addressing before too long, as control is only by prevention. The drilling of winter cereals has taken priority and no further applications have been made to the linseed crop.

Kabatiella Lincola disease symptoms on winter linseed cotyledons

Since sowing the crop has had 227mm of rain as recorded by the Sencrop weather station. Average temperatures are starting to drop and are for October- December 8.8°C, with a wide diurnal variation - the differences seen between night and day temperatures (see weather data below).


Rain has been relentless with 71.4mm since the start of October and there has been little chance of soils drying out enough to allow machinery to travel to finish sowing the last 25ha of winter linseed. It is now too late to sow the remainder of the linseed to allow it to get tall enough to survive winter. The winter linseed that has been sown has established nicely and is now up in rows. Grass weed and volunteer cereal control has been delayed due to wet soils, but are next on the list. It is interesting to note that competition from volunteer barley had less of an effect on the growth of the linseed than it did on the oilseed rape. 

Alpaga Linseed rows clearly visible on 14th Oct 2019
Alpaga establishing well on 14th Oct 2019

Average temperatures remain relatively mild at 12°C, with day temperatures pushing high teens (see weather data below). 


Sowing Date: 19th September (part)

Sowing Conditions: The straw of the previous crop of winter barley straw was baled in some fields and not baled in others. The stubble left for 5 weeks to ensure grass weeds germinated.  Baled straw allows more accurate linseed seed positioning and better seed to soil contact. The fields were cultivated using a light discing to 50mm deep, followed by an integral packer to get grass weeds to chit and sprayed off with glyphosate. Dry conditions have delayed drilling, however it has allowed a good flush of weeds in the fields. A pre-emergence herbicide Callisto will be applied to the crop to help control early broad-leaved weeds (BLW). Winter linseed variety Alpaga was partly drilled on the 19th of September with John Deere 750A.

The remaining 25ha is yet to be drilled due to heavy rain, it is planned to be drilled by the end of the week (6th October).


Premium Crops have established a network of Sencrop weather stations at our Montor Farm locations. The weather stations provide a live-feed of the rainfall and temperature at each site. The details recorded at Dunsden Green Farm from 18th Sept to the 4th December 2019 are given below...