Practice leads to perfect. Growers who successfully straight combine say that experience leads to success. If straight combining for the first time in 2011, be sure to start on a small number of acres. This will allow for some experimentation to determine how to make it work with an individual’s equipment.
Choose suitable fields. Fields that make good candidates for straight cutting are those with heavy crop canopies that are well knitted to prevent whipping and shattering in the wind.
Point of no return. Once the decision to straight cut is made and crops are allowed to ripen standing, shattering losses will be high if the decision to swath is then made late (beyond 70 to 80% seed colour change). If a field that mature must be swathed, it must be done in very moist conditions (rain or heavy dew) to limit shattering as much as possible. The final decision on whether to swath or straight cut really needs to be made prior to the optimal swathing stage (up to 60% SCC). Click here for more information on swathing and combining canola.