Harvest Approaching – Start Planning Now

If warm, dry conditions continue, cutting of the earliest canola fields may begin within three to four weeks. After flowering (pod filling), is a good time to assess yield potential leading up to harvest. The variable staging this year has not evened out and will require more management at harvest. It may be beneficial to mark or section off fields based on similar staging and yield potential. Know where the greatest yield potential is within the field and plan to focus on protecting it the most. The greatest yield potential includes the plants with most seeds but also earliest maturing to escape a fall frost. Yield potential can be assessed by counting the number of pods on a plant, and determining the number of seeds per pod. Pods can be plucked and held up to the light to determine the number of seeds within the pod.  While scouting, think about the approach needed for harvest. Is the staging so variable that a desiccant may be needed to hasten maturity on the latest plants? Would swathing be better than straight cutting or vice versa? Is there a lot of green weed growth that will require a pre-harvest application?