Top 10 steps to prep for harvest

1. Watch this video. Direct link.

Harvest Management & Mitigating Loss from Canola Council of Canada on Vimeo.

2. Have a plan to measure losses out the combine. Find something around the farm they can use as a drop pan. How to measure combine losses. Then use the Combine Seed Loss Guide to take pan results and translate them into bu./ac.

3. Prep bins for canola storage. Clean them to remove treated seed and animal protein that may have been stored inside. Do not use malathion in bins to store canola. Read more.

4. Consider these storage questions: Do you have storage to match projected harvest? Will you sell some crop off the combine? Will anything go in grain storage bags?

5. Assess plant populations and disease situation to establish a harvest plan for each field. Should it be swathed early due to alternaria? Is it a candidate for straight combining?

6. Fields planned for straight combining may benefit from a pre-harvest application of glyphosate, glyphosate plus HEAT or Reglone. Read more.

7. Check chopper blades. Sharp blades are a good first step in helping the combine cut and spread cereal residue for improved canola establishment next spring. Some growers also retrofit their complete chopper system, as shown in the photo.


8. Consider other steps to improve residue management in heavy cereals, such as cutting higher and baling straw if needed.

9. Harvesting under wet conditions? Equipping combine with duals may be necessary.

10. Use pre-harvest herbicide on cereals to stop specific weeds — such as cleavers — from setting seed. This is in preparation for canola the following year.

Further reading:

Top 10 reasons why you should wait to swath
Top 10 situations that increase straight cut risk
Top 10 tips to reduce combine losses
Top 10 risky situations for canola storage