Swath or straight cut lodged crop?

August 19, 2015 - Issue 22

Whatever the cause for lodging — wind, rain, late-season hail — the crop will present a harvest challenge. Swathing low to the ground doesn’t leave much stubble to hold the swaths in a wind. Swathing lodged crop often leaves a lot of bunches in the windrow. And lodged crop may need to be swathed in the same direction. These scenarios are not ideal, but swathing a lodged canola crop is probably preferable to straight combining it.

Lodged canola.

Lodged canola.

Reglone specifically mentions its benefit to help dry down lodged crop for straight combining, but straight combining is not always the best choice for lodged canola. Running the combine header that low to the ground means everything the header picks up — including rocks — will go through the combine. (More on Reglone and other pre-harvest treatments)

Straight cutting a badly lodged crop also means a lot of contact with the reel to move crop forward. This will increase shattering.

Canola Watch