Crop Protection:
preventing pod shatter

Several factors cause OSR pod shatter, including severe weather conditions such as heavy wind and rain. Moisture absorbed by pods in wet weather causes them to swell. They then contract during dry weather, leading to brittle pods.

Mechanical damage, such as a combine passing through the crop, can then cause the pods to shatter leading to yield losses.

The problem is compounded by uneven pod development (common with cabbage stem flea beetle damage), with mature pods splitting to release their seed before pods lower down the plant are ready.


What is the cost?

Pod shatter can result in yield reductions of 8-12%. This can increase if storms or hail occur.


What are pod sealants and how can they help?

Pod sealants work by applying a pliable layer of adhesive to the outer area of the pod, increasing its physical strength and prevent breakage.

They can deliver yield improvements of 0.2 t/ha and reduce the amount of volunteer rape occurring the following season.


When should I apply them?

It is important to apply pod sealants at the right growth stage which reflects most of the field. If applied too early, further growth can break the polymer seal and if applied too late, it will not have the desired effect once ripening and senescence have occursed. The aim is to hit as many full-sized pods as possible, so aim for between growth stages (GS) 82 – 83 and no later than GS 89.


What products are available?

PodLock and ZipPod are widely available, along with generic alternatives. To find out more, get in touch with your AF Crop Protection team by email to or call 01603 881 906. 

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