The Right Cropping System

Winter canola acreage is increasing because, as a rotation crop, canola can help improve wheat quality and yields.

  • Changing to different crops can help eliminate problems such as grassy weeds that stem from continuous wheat.
  • Wheat crops have become increasingly challenged by yield-robbing pests that reduce the quality and price of wheat.
  • Grassy weeds, including cheat, downy brome, rescue grass, jointed goatgrass, feral rye and Italian ryegrass, are becoming more difficult to control.
  • Using existing equipment makes it easier to add canola to your rotation.

The Right Harvest Time

Swather equipment with canola rollerSwathing. This the most common procedure for preparing the crop for the combine.

  • Canola has reached its highest yield potential and is ready to swath when 60 percent of the individual seeds change color from green to brown or black on the main stem.
  • Establishing uniform stands in the fall makes it easier to choose the best time to start swathing.
  • When swathing, it is important that the swath roller push down any loose branches to anchor them and keep them from blowing and shattering, so yield potential is not lost.

Combining. Canola is considered dry and ready to harvest at 10 percent moisture. Because of its stem texture, canola plants do not absorb as much moisture as wheat plants, so they dry faster than wheat following a rain.

  • Check canola frequently as it is often ready to harvest earlier than wheat.
  • When combining canola seed, be sure the tiny seeds are not falling through the seams of the combine and back onto your field. Use duct tape or caulk to seal up seams and help keep losses to a minimum.