Life of a Rapeseed oil farmer: What’s happening in April

Ask any farmer, April is all about the growth and health of the crops – and it’s something we take very seriously here, at Duchess Oils. We’re constantly checking for any signs of potential health issues, along with ensuring the plants are growing well.

As any farmer (and your nose, if you live in a rural location) will tell you, it’s also the time of year to get out the muck spreader! Fertiliser spreading during April is crucial, if you want to ensure nutrition levels in the soil are to stay at an optimum level. The soil needs to have everything the crops need, if you want healthy and strong plants. Tie this in with wet and warm days, and you have the perfect growing conditions for study, healthy plants.

Regardless of the weather, myself and my agronomist Jamie, are out checking the crops in all weathers. At this time of year, we cut into the stem of the growing plant with a Stanley knife, to check the growth stage of the crop. We plan everything that needs doing on a two-week plan, from fertilising to crop checks. We then head back to the office and make a plan for the coming two weeks, before doing it all over again, a continual rolling two-weekly schedule of fertiliser, checks and planning.

We’re all focused on the crops, ensuring the best possible growth and health – even the dog just looks at crops during this time of year!

Another thing I’m currently doing is experimenting with wild garlic oil. Wild garlic, like Rapeseed, has a host of medicinal benefits. It can help reduce cholesterol levels in your blood, and it also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can also be soaked into culinary oils, giving them a unique flavour and is ideal for sauces and dressings – so I’ll let you know how I get on.

Now it’s time for me to get back out on the tractor – so, until next month!


Oscar HardingComment