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Shooting over winter rape 2020/21


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Rape in my area is down again on 2019/20, out of all the farms I shoot I usually have around 300 to 500 acres to go at, this year its down to around 90 acres on three farms (if it survives) those three farms will be seeing a lot of me this year, so what's the prospects in your area?

 

Driving around today I did see around 300 pigeons on one 25 acre field, but on walking them off they did not return, but the prospects look good for this field as its produced some good shooting in the past when it was sown with rape, we will see.

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hi old un i only have 2 farms 2 shoot and one of these has only forty acres in rape the other farm says rape is a waste of time due to flea beetle so it will be a case of wait and see if the pigeon want to play ball 

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I have one farm that is not growing any at all and the others are growing a reduced acreage. What I have seen drilled is looking very good at the moment. Winter oats and Linseed have replaced the rape on the farm that is not growing any. Another farmer is looking to plant a larger acreage of winter beans as a break crop. There will still  be plenty to go at on my permissions this year and  the slightly reduced amount may concentrate the birds a bit more.

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We must buck the trend as we have got a fair acreage and to be honest it is looking in very good condition , mind you we have had nearly non stop rain and tomorrow have got another weather warning for yet more heavy rain .

Pigeon wise , haven't seen a single pigeon on the rape up till now and I think it will be nearer to Christmas until they start hitting the crop , at the moment they are on what is left of the Maize after bits and pieces were left as it was to wet to get it all off .

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my rape had so few on this harvest it can only improve this year have 20 fields of rape all but four fields are very short to many acorns around for pigeons to touch it yet have one not using buckwheat in the rape next to one who is so should be interesting to watch 

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As observed by many Forum members, this year, rape acreage has been dramatically reduced. Ironically, conditions have not been good for the flea beetle hence those farms that have grown rape this year have some fine crops coming along. Linseed sowing is on the up and up and pigeons will feast on it so worth keeping an eye on. Quite a few acres of beans being drilled at the moment in my neck of the wood. However, if the beans are drilled to a depth of 4" or so then goodness knows how the pigeons will manage to dig them out. Incidentally shot a pigeon a couple of days ago and it was rammed with 9 acorns. Goodness knows how they manage to get them down their gizzards, probably like us pouching junior rugby balls.

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8 hours ago, Balotelli said:

As observed by many Forum members, this year, rape acreage has been dramatically reduced. Ironically, conditions have not been good for the flea beetle hence those farms that have grown rape this year have some fine crops coming along. Linseed sowing is on the up and up and pigeons will feast on it so worth keeping an eye on. Quite a few acres of beans being drilled at the moment in my neck of the wood. However, if the beans are drilled to a depth of 4" or so then goodness knows how the pigeons will manage to dig them out. Incidentally shot a pigeon a couple of days ago and it was rammed with 9 acorns. Goodness knows how they manage to get them down their gizzards, probably like us pouching junior rugby balls.

Similar to MM’s area, quite a bit of rape being grown hereabouts although one poor field has been sprayed off. If reduced amounts being sown in other areas then I would  have thought that it would increase the shooting potential due to concentration of birds over a smaller area.

Regards linseed, I’ve never had much success over that although I understand that some do. Only ever seen stock doves feeding.

There’s been plenty of wheat drilled this last week but I’ve yet to see many down feeding even on the headlands, although the few I shot yesterday some had new wheat and some old.

OB

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17 hours ago, marsh man said:

We must buck the trend as we have got a fair acreage and to be honest it is looking in very good condition , mind you we have had nearly non stop rain and tomorrow have got another weather warning for yet more heavy rain .

Pigeon wise , haven't seen a single pigeon on the rape up till now and I think it will be nearer to Christmas until they start hitting the crop , at the moment they are on what is left of the Maize after bits and pieces were left as it was to wet to get it all off .

Yep, the East of England does seem to-be one of the areas least effected by flea beetle.

Looking at Government figures for winter rape sown 2019 and 2020 the area sown with winter rape 2020 fell between 30-40% across England with the East Midlands seeing the biggest fall at 42%, the South West down by 38%, West Midlands down by 28-30%,

it does look like the East of England as seen the smallest fall, with an average drop of only 21%, they have also reported less damage from flea beetle, wonder why that is?

Also spring rape increased by a whooping 234% for spring 2020, unfortunately I did not see any of this increase.

 

Some have mentioned that if there are fewer fields to go at in any one area we may see an increase in numbers on those fields (lets hope so) or the other possibility is the birds may move to other areas where there are greater opportunities for birds to move to another field if disturbed/over shot, must admit there does seem to-be a wide variation in the areas and acreage being sown, will be interesting to see what people report during the coming winter months.

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On 20/10/2020 at 18:49, marsh man said:

We must buck the trend as we have got a fair acreage and to be honest it is looking in very good condition , mind you we have had nearly non stop rain and tomorrow have got another weather warning for yet more heavy rain .

Pigeon wise , haven't seen a single pigeon on the rape up till now and I think it will be nearer to Christmas until they start hitting the crop , at the moment they are on what is left of the Maize after bits and pieces were left as it was to wet to get it all off .

Hi Marsh man, As you say we are looking at several hundred acres of rape, and most is in one block, in the past I have had some good days on this area and have been keeping an eye on it for a few weeks since they seeded it, I did have a couple of goes and had 19 woodies and 32 ferals on the first go then 12 woodies and 18 ferals on the second, sadly its been rain stop play here for the last 2 to 3 weeks now, mud up to your knees and headlands almost impassable even in the 4x4, but if it begins to dry out a bit running up to christmas it could get quite lively , but there are always a few to keep the eye in.

Due to the very wet conditions all over the area I have not been able to check out all the permissions but I believe there are some other blocks of rape which may be worth a look once the game shoots are done.

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Out last week and searched all over In North and West Yorkshire but very few pigeons about with none on osr and no visible damage to the plants in various states of growth. Eventually noted the odd bird flighting over a rape field into a small wood. Set up just after one o’clock then moved a couple of hundred yards down wood side to get under the obvious flight line and was surprised to bring down 33 pigeons ( and an odd crow) everyone of which was flighting into the wood. Again mostly juvenile birds with still forming feather quills around neck and everyone had a good crop full of acorns with the odd bit of scabby old barley. 
Going back in a few days to try find why they collect acorns a distance away THEN fly into a very well established oak wood with acorns like a carpet in the fields surrounding the wood?

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Here in North Northumberland on the east coast we have as much OSR as ever and it is looking very healthy and established. I am no expert on farming but I have never seen any sugar beet or maize growing up here, as it’s probably to cold- hence the huge acreage Of OSR we have.

I won’t expect to see any pigeons on OSR up here until late November/ December as they are currently on old stubble, beechmast and acorns.

incidentally I have never seen so many haw berries as this year which will also be a draw for the pigeons when the winter kicks in.

Hitman

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