Default to waiting. Don’t make a snap decision to swath. Before taking any harvest action, start with this sequence:
—Check standing canola the morning after a frost but wait at least 4-6 hours before making a harvest decision. This will allow the full extent of frost damage to become evident. The crop may look undamaged that morning but by the afternoon wilting, desiccation and pod splitting may begin. This crop may need to be swathed to preserve yield, but keep in mind that high green counts are likely.
—Cold temperatures do not automatically mean frost damage. If no damage is evident after the first day and you decide to leave the crop, scout again after 2 to 3 days to reassess.
—If most or all seed is mature and you planned to swath the day after a frost anyway, then don’t bother waiting 4-6 hours. Just start swathing.