Before frost: Leave immature canola standing

If the forecast is for frost tonight, growers will not see much benefit to swathing today if canola is still green. With a light frost, crop left standing will still have a chance to mature further. A heavy frost will lock in high green counts unless the crop has adequate dry down time to achieve a seed moisture of 20% or less. This can take three good drying days, so swathing today in anticipation of a heavy frost tonight won’t help much. In this case, growers are better off leaving the crop standing to see what the frost amounts to. But there are exceptions:

—If frost is forecast for several nights in a row, canola with a high percentage of green immature seed might not have much chance to mature further. Growers could cut the crop and accept that any yield potential from immature seed is likely lost.

—If growers still have 1,000 acres of canola to swath, they may need all the swathing days they can get. If today is a good day to swath, then go swathing but know that any yield potential from immature seed will likely be lost.  Check for signs of physiological maturity in the green seeds to help assess how significant those losses could be.