Frost hits standing canola: What to do?

This was taken 4 hours after a minus 7°C frost. Green pods are already turning white and popping open.
This was taken 4 hours after a minus 7°C frost. Green pods are already turning white and popping open.

Pods can start to pop within a day after a heavy frost.
Pods can start to pop within a day after a heavy frost.

Moderate frost damage can cause white speckling on pods, but pods remain intact and pliable and some seed remains green and turgid. Watch closely but the best move may be to let this crop mature further before swathing.
Moderate frost damage can cause white speckling on pods, but pods remain intact and pliable and some seed remains green and turgid. Watch closely but the best move may be to let this crop mature further before swathing.

Check standing canola the morning after a frost, but wait at least four hours after frost to allow the full extent of severe frost damage to become evident. The crop may look undamaged that morning but by lunch time, wilting, desiccation and pod splitting may begin. If you scout early and then not again, you may underestimate the damage and miss a chance to swath now to save some of the yield. Conversely, light to moderate frost damage may take longer to become evident, so scout again after two to three days to reassess and make a decision. For the complete article, please read the latest version here.