Quick Hitters:

Spread residue evenly in fields planned for canola in 2011. Good canola stand establishment, especially in direct seeding situations, starts with straw and chaff from the previous crop. Spreading residue evenly across the field is critical. If the combine can’t spread cereal chaff and straw evenly across the width of cut, then consider dropping the straw and baling it. Another option is to use a heavy harrow to spread the straw. Delay heavy harrowing until the straw is dry enough to allow even distribution and minimize piling up and bunching of the straw. Click here for the library of residue management articles from the Reduced Tillage Linkages website.

Who will buy high-green seed? Many late canola crops hit with heavy frost have high or very high green seed counts. Seed with 6% to 20% green will grade No.3, over 20% is sample. If heavy frost has locked in a high green seed count, no amount of time in the swath or bin will reduce it. So what do growers do with it? Check with canola crush plants to see what they offer for seed with high green. Check classified ads in local papers and farm papers for other buyers. Click here for a list of companies known to buy high-green canola. For more on how frost locks in green, click here for a Canola Council of Canada factsheet.

White seed also downgrades sample. Got white seed that rolls out yellow? It could be “rime.” Rime damage is where the lining of the pod adheres to the seed. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) classifies seed with rime as damaged seed. The CGC allows up to 5% total damaged seed before grade loss. For example, if canola has 2% distinctly green, it would only be allowed an additional 3% rime before it exceeds 5% total damaged seed resulting in grade loss. Growers should store and condition this canola the same way they do normal canola.
But other causes can turn canola white, so it’s worth confirming as rime.

  • Mould can turn seed white and cause significant damage to stored canola.
  • Immature seed hit by frost will also turn white. When crushed, these seeds will be green and shriveled.
  • Cycles of wet and dry, cold and warm can cause the outer layer of the seed coat to separate. This layer will turn white, but the seed should be normal inside.

To confirm the cause of white seed, send samples to the Canadian Grain Commission. Click here for CGC contact info and sample requirements.