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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

When to swath canola

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Agri-News

When it comes time to decide whether canola is ready to swath, it’s key that growers crack pods open and look for seed colour change before making the final decision.

“We’ve got a really wide variation in how much colour change might take place on the plant on the outside as opposed to what might be happening to the seeds on the inside,” says Keith Gabert, agronomist with the Canola Council of Canada. “The key is the seed colour change on the inside of the pod.”

“On the main stem, we’re looking for at least 30 per cent colour change,” says Gabert. “So, when you open the pod, you’re going to find at least a brown spot, or preferably a brown third or half on that seed. Some of the ones nearer the bottom may already be black, but we’re looking for thirty per cent change seed colour on that main stem.”

Gabert says the youngest seed on the side branches should be firm and green when you roll it in your fingers. “You don‘t want any watery or mushy seeds, because, if you were to cut those, and have them dry down rather quickly, they can turn to pepper in your tank or blow out the back of the machine.”

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