Rape, with its distinctive yellow flowers, is the major UK oilseed crop with 675,000 hectares grown in 2014. Typically winter rape yields around 3 tonnes per hectare and price is about £150 per tonne. Despite its useful role as a break crop, oilseed rape cannot be grown too regularly in the same field for the risk of a serious disease build up. Although cultivated for about 4000 years, in the UK the oilseed rape crop was barely known until the 1970s when the explosion in commodity prices and targeted support from the CAP raised the price to a sufficiently high level that farmers chose to grow it.


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