Oilseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape, rapeseed, oilseed rape belongs to the family Brassicaceae. The plant has a deep and long root, the stem is 1.5 m high approximately and the flowers are small, yellow and are grouped in terminal clusters. It is consumed in China and Southern Africa as a vegetable but is cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed, the third-largest source of vegetable oil in the world.
Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feeds, edible vegetable oils, and there are also non-food uses, such as the industrial oils market, dominated by biodiesel, but also including lubricant and surfactant production. Biodiesel: this oil is the preferred oil stock for biodiesel production in most of Europe, accounting for about 80% of the feedstock. It can be sown in Spring and Autumn.
Soil: It performs well under a wide range of soil conditions but is not very drought tolerant. The clay-loam soils are the best soils for growing rapeseed. Also, it requires deep and well-drained soils.
pH: The optimum level is between 5.5 and 7
Climate: It does not tolerate temperatures below -2 or -3 ºC from germination to rosette stage. In this stage, it can manage up to -15 ºC (even this cold promotes the root development). Low temperatures and short days delay its maturation.