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Discussion Starter #1
We are going to put some canola in this spring and wondering if we should swath or direct cut. Getting some thought on what others do. Have raised some in past and cut straight with combine. It seemed to work well but now we have a swather with draper head to cut with. They say you have lots of harvest loss with direct cutting canola. Also if swathing, what is best. Night and early morning or during the day fine. Any info helpful. Thanks
 

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We swath ours here. If you swath make sure to roll it, cut as high as you can and still get all the pods, leaving taller stalks to anchor down to. Swath with a dew is best. Direct harvested once, more harvest loss but bigger seeds so yield wise was a wash. Dryer areas seam to be all direct harvest.
 

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I would also add, if you have nasty winds that always prevail from a direction always swath with the wind not perpendicular, high winds can be just as devastating to your yield as a hail storm. i find the newer varieties are very good at resisting shatter, so i swath really ripe to keep my greens down.
 

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Are you on irrigated land? What yields are typical in your area?

In my area on irrigation, folks have had really good luck with just about all varieties with straight-cutting. Heavy crops tend to resist the wind and not shatter. I'd estimate losses to be no higher than swathing and picking up swathes. Our draper headers seems to work find straight-cutting canola (MacDon). This season we plan to straight-cut maybe a third of our canola. We're still working up, getting comfortable with the process. We'll probably either dessicate, or spray it with roundup just to get the plants to dry down some. The green straw does slow down the combine, but the seeds are plump, black, and dry.

If it was 20 bu/ac dryland canola, that's another story. I'd probably just swath it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We are in Eastern Oregon and would be planting in dryland wheat rotation. It has been awhile since we have put canola in due to more crushers going in. We are thinking 1500 lbs/acre to 2000 lbs/acre. Mostly determined by rain in summer. When we planted last, I direct cut with older combines and sold off of combine. Now bigger combine and draper head. Also now have swathers. If this works would also put under pivots as rotation. We are hoping to swath or harvest in mid September so mid maturing is what I am thinking. Our wheat harvest is in August so would need to be after that. After reading all the info, either way will work and will try both and see what works here. Thanks for the replys.
 

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We are north of you in Southeast Washington 6-10in rainfall. We grew rapa varieties in the 90s but quit after the market tanked. Now we are back in with spring and winter canola. We straight cut and spray spodnam. We have the swather (we also grow single cutting dryland alfalfa) and draper head but I have no interest in a pickup head. We are going to try Hyclass 930 this spring so we will test it's purported shatter resistance. From what I've seen here, the canola is ready about 1-2 weeks ahead of its comparable spring/winter wheat.
 
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