Straight combining canola hit by frost

Harvest

Sept. 21, 2011 - Issue 25

Experienced straight combiners often want a frost to desiccate the crop and whatever weed patches might be present before they start harvest. If the crop is mature, the frost should not hurt quality at all.

—If the stand is ready for harvest when the frost hits, prepare to straight combine shortly afterward to limit shattering losses.

—If frost hits before the crop is fully matured, swathing may give the crop time to cure and rescue more yield in the process. Check for major frost damage to pods before making this decision.

Assess each field individually. Some may benefit from the frost and remain good candidates for straight combining. Others may be better suited to swathing.

Reglone. Growers who want to speed drydown for straight combining and don’t want to wait for a killing frost can use Reglone. This desiccant stops maturity, so make sure the crop is sufficiently mature before application to avoid yield loss or green seed issues. Recommended timing is when 60 to 75% of the seed has turned brown. Use high water volumes and spray on a cloudy day or in the evening for improved performance. Canola crops treated with Reglone should be harvested within 7-14 after application to avoid potentially significant shattering losses. Glyphosate can also be used to manage green weeds and late maturing plants in non-tolerant crops, but its activity will be much slower, especially in cool temperatures.

Canola Watch