Swathing wheat - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Swathing wheat

Hello!

I'm farmer from Finland and new in this forum and my english isn't fluent.

I have queston about swathing wheat which is done at least in Canada.

This summer in Finland has been coldest for last 30 years. Usually we harvest in august and september, but this year we have just started because grain isn't done yeat. I have 600 acres to harvest and just 100 of it is done and this last week it was raining every day. Even before the rain humidity of harvested grain was about 30%. Whit that I can work out eventhought the drying is expensive.
We have grain dryers, but swathing isn't done here. If I would try to swath wheat, how long would it take to dry and what will happen if it rains? I would assume that the moisture of wheat is now something like 40-50%. Temperature is here is now 8-15C during a day and 4-11 at night. I assume that reason why swathing isn't done here with grain is because in a fall it's raining here more than in North America. I hope that it stops raining later this month. Ray and barley is done and we can harvest those, but wheat is still too green and it's changing very slowly!

If you have any tips I would be clad. This is harvest is getting desperate here in Finland.


Last edited by KaappooFIN; 09-17-2017 at 07:27 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 10:18 PM
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Laying wet grain on wet ground in a region where it rains a lot would be a disaster. Leave it stand and wait for better weather.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 10:29 PM
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Spray with Glyphosate so it kills it and makes it ripen rather than swathing.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 11:39 PM
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If you get more than 1 inch or 25mm of rain on the swath the quality of the grain in the swath will be worse than standing. If the swath gets wet and stays wet for very long the grain will sprout.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 12:40 AM
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Yeah despite what we've been saying about swathing in the other threads, swathing is really only the way to go if you've got sunny, dry weather you can take advantage of. It's no good in rain. Swathing is about getting a good cure on a crop that's ripening unevenly, and also getting it to dry down faster than if left standing, but only if it's not rainy weather! It takes a long time to dry a heavy swath after rain, and wet ground just makes it awful.

We've been caught out before by rain. I've combined up swathes that were literally growing, and sprouts sticking the swath to the ground. Not fun. Sell it as feed wheat. Smells terrible too.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by torriem View Post
and wet ground just makes it awful.
This is key! If you are starting with wet ground you had better be very sure there isn't more rain coming. Less of an issue with dry ground and earlier in the season. Sounds like you are dealing with cool weather too and probably short days. I would let it stand and be ready when the weather allows for harvesting.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your answers.

For some reason glyphosate is allowed to use just with oats and barley, but not with wheat. I use all the wheat as a feed, so quality as for milling or baking (I don't know right term) isn't important. Usually moisture is around 18% and everything above 20% is concidered as wet, but this year has been really cold and this fall so far rainy. Barley and oat are quite ripen, but some are sprouting evethought they are standing. Forecast is better for next week than weather has been. Not rain for about 10 days and warmer.

With wheat the main problem is that it isn't ripen and I might be too cold in this time of year that it will. If I try swathing how long it would take untill I can combine it? How does dew affect? And how about one small rain? Like two or three millimeters? During a day it will be 12-14C, but cloudy.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by KaappooFIN View Post
With wheat the main problem is that it isn't ripen and I might be too cold in this time of year that it will. If I try swathing how long it would take untill I can combine it? How does dew affect? And how about one small rain? Like two or three millimeters? During a day it will be 12-14C, but cloudy.
I would say if you have a decent 10 day window, actually down to 9 now, you could swath it and have it in the bin, it still might not be as dry as you would prefer, which is likely what you're up against. It's very similar to trying to get dry hay, in which case 9 days of generally good weather is a no brainer in the north. You're still going to have to pick and chose the sunny or breezy spells when you can pick up the swath.

{Excerpt}
For most crops, harvest can normally commence within 4-10 days after desiccation. However, late fall applications and adverse weather conditions such as rainfall, cool temperatures and high humidity will slow plant desiccation and keep seed moisture levels high which can delay commencement of harvest beyond 10 days after application. When those conditions prevail after REGLONE ION desiccation, commence harvest when plant material is dry and seed moisture level allows efficient harvesting. To minimize seed loss and to maintain seed quality, harvest of desiccated crops should commence as soon as seed moisture reaches the level for normal harvest.

https://www.syngenta.ca/pdf/labels/R...n_pamphlet.pdf

For what it's worth, I've quit haying here for this year, not done, just have plenty already and I'm saving moisture and nutrients for next year which will certainly begin with much drier soils than the past number of years. With our present forecast, if I wanted more hay I would start cutting on Saturday if the next 6 days looked somewhat decent then.

I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of miles of swaths I've picked up in the last 50 years, but the only ones I ever left behind were in the water, the rest were dry or very close.
.

Last edited by Haystack; 09-19-2017 at 02:10 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 05:35 PM
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We have swathed wheat on occasion and it works well if you have a warm day but the moisture is still marginal. Run swather at the same time as the harvester to trap that heat in the swath for tomorrow. Have gained 4 to 5 days of marginal harvesting that way.

I did once have a variety trial in where I accidentally swathed one of the varieties off the end. The trial was harvested later than the rest of the paddock and the falling numbers (dough distensibility) was 90 on the swath and 300 on the rest of the trial. Ie standing was better .

Also have picked up stones in my sample from windrows.

Have you considered drying. Sometimes in farming it's about managing a loss over a disaster if snow is threatening.

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