Don’t wait for green to clear

Harvest and Storage

October 8, 2014 - Issue 27

Harvest canola combine

In August and September, growers may want to let canola cure longer hoping for the warm and moist conditions required to clear green from their canola seed. By October, getting the crop off becomes the priority. Green seed is unlikely to turn anymore unless a lot of moisture (snow?) comes, in which case harvest may be delayed until spring. When good harvest days come along, the best option is likely to put canola in the bin.

Green grading:
•No.1 canola may contain up to 2% distinctly green seeds and a maximum of 5% damaged seed (including green).

•The allowable limit for No.2 is 6% distinctly green and 12% total damaged seed.
•The allowable limit for No.3 is 20% distinctly green and 25% total damaged seed.

•Anything above that is sample.

The Canadian Grain Commission’s Official Grain Grading Guide says damaged seed includes canola seeds that are: Distinctly shrunken or shriveled; badly discoloured from mould; completely and densely covered with rime (which is the lining of the pod adhered to the seed); excessively weathered, sprouted, tan coloured, distinctly green, heated, insect damaged or otherwise damaged.

Know your green count. For growers with high-green canola in the bin, it helps to know what you’ve got before you make marketing decisions. When shopping around for buyers, make sure your sample represents the canola you’ll deliver. Loads have been rejected because the canola delivered didn’t meet the specifications indicated in the original sample.

Get more than one opinion. “Distinctly green” is a subjective analysis, requiring graders to decide whether marginal lime green seeds count as “distinctly green” or not. This can make a big difference in price and marketability of canola if one grader counts 15% green (No.3) and another counts 25% (Sample) when analyzing the same canola. Growers unsure of what they’ve got can send samples to the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), which provides a free grade as part of its Harvest Sample Program. Click here for more details.

Further reading:
What’s needed to restart the green-clearing enzyme?
Companies that buy high-green canola
What is distinctly green?

Canola Watch