Harvest management

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  • Swath timing tips

    The ideal swath timing is when 60% of seeds on the main stem are showing some colour change from green to brown. Colour change is considered any amount of yellowing or browning on the seed. To determine ideal swath timing, fields need to be walked and pods need to be cracked – remember you are looking for seed colour change, not pod colour change.


  • Avoid swathing in heat: green risk, yield risk

    swathing canola

    Swathing canola when temperatures are hot can cause two potential problems for the crop:

    1. Rapid dry down due to hot conditions does not give the green-clearing enzymes enough time to reduce chlorophyll levels in the seed, and green counts can be elevated.
    2. Very dry pods can shatter if swathed on a hot day.


  • A harvest option for thin patchy canola

    wind blown swaths

    The ideal canola crop for straight combining is thick and well-knitted with even maturity. However, a case can be made for straight combining very thin crops with uneven maturity.


  • Cut later for higher yields

    Summary results pooled for both 3 and 5 lb/ac seeding rates at all locations based on similar trends observed. Straight cut treatments at 10 of 12 locations produced relative yield of 107% vs 30-40% SCC.

    Cutting canola after 50% seed colour change will increase crop yields because side branches have longer to fill and average seed size for the whole plant is larger.


  • Best headers for straight combining canola

    Biso header for straight combining canola

    Specialty headers designed to straight combine canola seem to provide an improvement over standard straight cut headers. These specialty headers have the cutterbar out in front of the reel to catch seed that drops on impact from the reel bats.


Canola Watch