31 Jan 2012

Increased yields from rapeseed oil harvest

1:03 pm on 31 January 2012

Biodiesel New Zealand says it's getting significantly increased yields from the latest oilseed rape harvest.

About 60 farmers from Manawatu to Southland are growing several thousand hectares of the crop under contract to produce oil for biofuel and cooking.

With about half of the autumn-sown rape crop harvested so far, Biodiesel New Zealand, a subsidiary of Solid Energy, says many Canterbury growers are recording yields of between four and five tonnes per hectare.

That compares with previous averages of less than three tonnes per hectare.

In Otago and Southland, farmers are reporting yields of between three and four tonnes per hectare, despite the December-January dry spell.

General manager Andrew Simcock says that as well as biofuel, Biodiesel NZ is producing canola cooking oil from the rapeseed, which will be recovered after it's used and then converted to biofuel.