Crop Not as Ripe as It Looks

2009 – Issue 17

Upon further inspection this year of seed colour change, the canola crop is not as ripe as it looks in some areas. Some fields are showing significant pod colour change before the seeds do. As the calendar progresses and the risk of fall frost nears, it may be tempting to swath earlier than optimal. Growers must ensure that seed colour change is occurring when assessing the proper time to swath. Do not use plant or pod colour to gauge proper timing because some pods will appear ripe on the outside before the seeds are mature. This year, significant yield may be contributed by side branches so seed colour change needs to be scouted on the side branches as well as the main stem. Open up pods and look at the colour of the seeds to accurately assess swathing timing. Research indicates that the optimum stage to swath for both yield and quality is up to an average of 60% seed colour change.

Canola Watch