Every year straight cutting garners interest from growers as a time management tool, for the reduced use of equipment and for the potential increase in seed yield and quality. If conditions are acceptable and you’re interested in trying it out, here are some items to consider before getting started:
Is your crop right for straight cutting?
Crops that are immature with a higher risk of frost, uneven in maturity or are heavy with green weed growth or crop re-growth are the best candidates for swathing. Meanwhile crops that are uniform and well-knit may be ideal, but short and thin crops (unable to produce a nice windrow) or uneven stands which need more time to mature can also be successfully straight cut. Check out success factors for straight cutting here.
Is your best option glyphosate or a desiccant?
• Glyphosate works best for control of perennial weeds and as a harvest aid to help to kill annual weeds, but it does not typically speed drydown.
• Desiccants are best and can produce more uniform crop ripening by drying down all green vegetative growth quite quickly, but it does not provide perennial weed control. Learn more about glyphosate and desiccants here.
If you choose desiccation, always consider the Pre-Harvest Intervals:
Heat requires 3 days and Reglone may need 4 to 7 days. Save the date in your calendar so you won’t forget by using ‘Sync Your Calendar’ at www.spraytoswath.ca
Finally, when combining, always use safety precautions and ensure you have sufficient bin space for this year’s crop before it comes off.