Many canola fields that were swathed too early or during hot weather or both will have dried down without sufficient enzyme breakdown of seed chlorophyll, resulting in a high green count. Fields that are dry (less than 10% moisture) and still have 5% green are unlikely to see that green count drop much, unless canola seed moisture rises back up above 20% to allow green-clearing enzymes to restart. Click here for an explanation of how that works. Click here for tips on how to check for green without starting the combine.
The risk with waiting is that if canola does get enough rain and humidity to bring seed moisture back up to 20%, it may take a long time to dry down sufficiently to allow harvesting.
Before leaving canola to the elements, consider how long it has been down. If two weeks or less, canola could still be curing and green counts may still drop. But if canola is drier than 10% moisture, has been down for three weeks or more and crush tests show no improvement, then it is probably finished curing without wetter conditions.
Want to know your green count? Growers who are uncertain how much green they have (“distinctly green” can be hard to determine) can send samples to the Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program for a free grading. Shipping is also free, but it can take 4-6 weeks for results.
Click here to hear Troy Prosofsky explain harvest sampling techniques.
The CGC also has tips on how to take a representative sample.