Swath timing

  • Snow on canola. What to do?

    Swath timing

    Snow on canola swaths in Saskatchewan. October 5, 2016. Credit: Ian Epp

    Common scenarios growers face with the snow on canola are:
    1. Canola is immature when snow falls.

    2. Canola is ready to swath when snow falls.
    3. Canola left standing for straight combining is hit with snow.
    4. Canola in the swath was already dry and has been hit with snow.
    Here is a description of each scenario, along with some tips to help with decision making….

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  • What to do with wind-blown swaths?

    Swath timing

    wind-blown-swaths_cornelsen

    1. Contact crop insurance. 2. Combine once the crop is cured. 3. Think about volunteer management. 4. Consider how this may be prevented.

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  • Seeds ready but still green

    Swath timing

    This time of year, seed in standing canola can sit for a long time at firm-to-roll stages (which are basically mature) without turning colour, especially if moisture is adequate and temperatures are cool, slowing the dry down process.

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  • Frost hits standing canola. What to do?

    Swath timing

    You have two choices in this situation: Swath now or wait.

    Swathing now might prevent further seed loss if severe frost damage will soon cause pods to pop open and pedicels to snap. You could have shriveled seeds and high green counts, but that might be better than the potential losses from waiting. But if frost did not kill the plants, swathing early will halt any upside potential you’d have from leaving the crop standing to fill out more seeds and clear more green.

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  • Frost forecast and swath timing

    Swath timing

    If frost is forecast, should you swath canola now or leave it standing? The answer depends on (at least) two things: (1) How far advanced is the crop? (2) How cold will it get?

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  • Hot swathing: How timing can affect green counts

    Swath timing

    The combination of swathing canola too early (low seed-colour change) and swathing during a stretch of hot weather can lead to rapid curing that leaves green counts elevated.

    By leaving the crop standing until 60% seed colour change on the main stem, this should reduce the amount of green immature seeds on side branches, which will reduce the green-seed risk in the combined sample.

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  • Reader question: Does green content go down in the bin?

    Swath timing

    Some researchers found that long-term storage may decrease green seed count slightly, but farmers should not count on a significant improvement in storage – especially if seeds are very dry.

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  • Swathing scenarios: Hot weather, too early, uneven crop, aster yellows

    Swath timing

    Here are few swathing situations and what to about them….

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  • Swath timing for higher yield: Check seed colour change

    Swath timing

    Optimal swath timing for canola yield and quality is when at least 60% of seeds on the main stem are showing some colour change. Seed colour change (SCC) is considered any amount of yellow or brown on the seed. (See scouting tips below.) This increases crop yield because side branches have longer to fill and average seed size for the whole plant is larger.

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  • Rain delays harvest: What to do?

    Swath timing

    Harvest delays due to soggy soils, frequent rains and even mist have canola growers wondering about risk to the crop and what, if anything, they can do reduce these risks. Really, the only approach is to wait out the weather. When fields are able to support the swather, decide then whether the staging suits swathing or straight combining. This article answers these and other questions: What is the “point of no return” for swath timing? Will canola seeds sprout with all the rain? How much does cool, wet weather extend curing time?

    Questions that arise with long rain delays:

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