Swath timing

  • Harvest aids don’t work in cool conditions

    Swath timing

    Farmers are asking if there’s anything they can apply to get harvest moving. The answer is no, nothing that comes from a bottle. A return to warm, dry conditions will get harvest progressing again.

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  • Harvest timing: Fastest way to get canola in the bin?

    Swath timing

    Swathing later will increase yield because more of the later seeds in side branches will reach maturity and contribute to yield. But what if harvest is moving slowing and the priority shifts from highest yield to just getting the crop in the bin?

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  • Swath later for a big boost in yield

    Swath timing

    Canola fields swathed at 60% seed colour change (SCC) on the main stem can yield 8% more than fields swathed at 30% SCC. That’s according to Canola Council of Canada research from the early 2000s. The yield difference could be even higher with lower plant populations because with fewer larger plants more of the yield will be in the side branches.

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  • Swathing after a frost

    Swath timing

    Frost on pods can stop plant development and lock in green. It can also cause pods to split. However, a light frost may have no effect at all, and the crop will be better left to mature fully before swathing.

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  • Early, hot swathing can increase green counts

    Swath timing

    The combination of swathing canola too early and swathing during a stretch of hot weather can lead to rapid curing that elevates harvest green counts.

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  • Harvest options for multi-stage crops

    Swath timing

    Non-uniform maturation is a common issue at harvest. This issue may be more pronounced in those areas that experienced abnormally dry conditions and intense flea beetle pressure this spring. Swathing remains the best and least risky option to manage uneven maturity.

    Those set on straight cutting have three product options to consider as pre-harvest aids: diquat, saflufenacil (Heat LQ) and glyphosate.

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  • Swath timing for higher yield

    Swath timing

    Seeds with just a touch of brown or yellow are considered "colour changed". Credit: Brent Wiebe

    Optimal swath timing for canola yield and quality is when at least 60% of seeds on the main stem are showing some colour change and when most (or all) side-branch seeds are “firm to roll.”

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  • Snow on canola. What to do?

    Swath timing

    Snow on canola swaths in Saskatchewan. October 5, 2016. Credit: Ian Epp

    Common scenarios growers face with the snow on canola are:
    1. Canola is immature when snow falls.

    2. Canola is ready to swath when snow falls.
    3. Canola left standing for straight combining is hit with snow.
    4. Canola in the swath was already dry and has been hit with snow.
    Here is a description of each scenario, along with some tips to help with decision making….

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  • What to do with wind-blown swaths?

    Swath timing

    wind-blown-swaths_cornelsen

    1. Contact crop insurance. 2. Combine once the crop is cured. 3. Think about volunteer management. 4. Consider how this may be prevented.

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  • Seeds ready but still green

    Swath timing

    This time of year, seed in standing canola can sit for a long time at firm-to-roll stages (which are basically mature) without turning colour, especially if moisture is adequate and temperatures are cool, slowing the dry down process.

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  • Frost hits standing canola. What to do?

    Swath timing

    You have two choices in this situation: Swath now or wait.

    Swathing now might prevent further seed loss if severe frost damage will soon cause pods to pop open and pedicels to snap. You could have shriveled seeds and high green counts, but that might be better than the potential losses from waiting. But if frost did not kill the plants, swathing early will halt any upside potential you’d have from leaving the crop standing to fill out more seeds and clear more green.

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  • Frost forecast and swath timing

    Swath timing

    If frost is forecast, should you swath canola now or leave it standing? The answer depends on (at least) two things: (1) How far advanced is the crop? (2) How cold will it get?

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  • Hot swathing: How timing can affect green counts

    Swath timing

    The combination of swathing canola too early (low seed-colour change) and swathing during a stretch of hot weather can lead to rapid curing that leaves green counts elevated.

    By leaving the crop standing until 60% seed colour change on the main stem, this should reduce the amount of green immature seeds on side branches, which will reduce the green-seed risk in the combined sample.

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  • Reader question: Does green content go down in the bin?

    Swath timing

    Some researchers found that long-term storage may decrease green seed count slightly, but farmers should not count on a significant improvement in storage – especially if seeds are very dry.

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  • Swathing scenarios: Hot weather, too early, uneven crop, aster yellows

    Swath timing

    Here are few swathing situations and what to about them….

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