High green? Pros and cons of waiting to combine

September 12, 2012 - Issue 29

 

Growers with dry canola and high green counts are wondering whether to leave the swathed crop a while longer or combine now and accept the grade loss. Here are points to consider when making that decision:

You still have time to wait. Canola seed moisture needs to get back up to 20% with temperatures remaining at 15 C or warmer for chlorophyll-clearing enzymes to restart and produce significant curing. That will require a few days of rain and humidity. There should still be a few good harvest weeks left before permanent snow fall, so there is time to wait. Green won’t clear in the bin, so leaving canola out is the only chance if you want to lower the amount of green seeds.

Is moisture in the forecast? If a week or two of dry weather is forecast, this won’t clear green. Do you want to wait longer than that?

What if needed rains do come? With enough rain to get seed moisture back up to 20%, the next question is, will there be enough good drying days to get it back down again before winter? Consider potential drying costs and weigh those against the reduced price for grade discounts.

Got other fields to harvest? You could skip over the high green field and come back to it later, especially if other fields are ready to go and are at greater risk for downgrading or yield loss if left in the swath.

How green is it? If it’s 15% green, getting it down to 6% — the cut off between No.2 and No.3 — is a stretch. If it’s 8% green, it has a much better chance of gaining a grade.

How much of the crop have you checked for green? The first strip combined may not represent the whole field. Click here for how to sample for green without starting the combine.

Wind losses increase with time. Heavy winds the past few days are blowing around swaths. This will reduce yields. Waiting for green to clear increases the risk of yield loss.

Talk to potential delivery points. Ask about discounts for high green. If the rest of your canola is No.1, you may be in a position to negotiate a better deal for a few loads with higher green. Knowing exactly what those discounts will be for the levels of green seed in your canola will help you make a more informed decision as you weigh them against the risks highlighted above.

Canola Watch