Determining green seed levels

With uneven maturity and later canola crops, this will be another year to watch green counts. Here are some tips to follow when testing for green seed:

  • Rather than start up the combine to take a sample, insert a scoop shovel underneath the swath and use your hands to thresh pods near ground level into the shovel. These plants will have cured more slowly and if any plants have higher green counts, it will be these ones.
  • Collect the seeds, put them into 100- or 500-count test strips and roll them out.
  • Do a few strips and come up with an average. Five green seeds out of 500 represents 1% green.
  • Repeat this a few times through the field, making sure to check hillsides and flats rather than hill tops and field edges, which tend to be thinner and more advanced.
  • If this sampling suggests that the green seed levels are low enough to harvest, then collect a sample with the combine. Be sure it is a representative sample for the field. This year with uneven maturity throughout fields this may require harvesting several swaths across the field to get a good composite sample. Be sure to confirm your assessment of the grade with your planned delivery point before harvesting significant quantities of the crop.