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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys,

Growing peas for the first time (like half of western canada) and trying to figure out the best way to harvest them.

I do not own a flex header but do have a rigid one.
I was planning on desiccating with reglone at the appropriate time for straight cutting then swathing right before the combine and using the pickup header. This way I could get away with not buying a flex and swathing late would lessen the risk of the swaths blowing away. I could try the rigid header but the land is hilly.

Good idea/bad idea? Should I go earlier with glyphosate instead? Should I buy a cheap flex header?

Thanks for the insight!
 

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I assume they're stand up peas. We are one of a small group that still grow the ground hugging vine type and use a pea bar in the PNW. We do grow garbs (chickpeas) and use wheat head without any flex. I would think swathing and using pickup header with dry peas would cause a lot of shattering. Some around here used to swath non ripe wet spots and if you got wind, there would be a real mess. Different type of peas though. Guys around here used to cut with non flex heads when stand up peas first came in (much later than in Canada probably) till they updated to later series axial flows I think. Fields usually cross worked and rolled to smooth out surfaces as much as possible. I'd try the rigid head. Should work out okay. You may not zoom around the field as fast. When we were cutting garbs which I feel are similar to stand up peas, my brother convinced me to cut a little higher. I thought I would leave too many, but found out I wasn't cutting as high as it looked and I picked them up really well and got very little dirt.
 

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We always swathed ahead with no problems. Light fluffy swath though so watch out for that. Haven't grown peas in long time. I'd stick to roundup though, at least your killing weeds.
 

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I assume you have pickup reels on your header? We have swathed right in front of the combine for a few years now and some spots in the field the losses can get quite high. Also last year it was so windy the combine had to stay right on the swather's arse .our rigid head with batt reels on the combine were just not an option.This year we have a draper to straight cut with so hoping for the best. You may also consider crop lifters
 

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We have swathed peas in front of the combine a couple times, one year we did it there was almost no shatter, walking around out in the field you could hardly find any peas laying on ground, The next time we did it there was some loss but no worse then the neighbors that straight cut. If they are flat on the ground swathing takes all the stress out of combing, no rocks, no mole hills going through combine. It does take a extra man which is an issue for many. We always hope they are standing so we can straight cut them, nothing beats combining standing peas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the feedback!

So either way I should spray them at the appropriate time and then just see how well they are standing to decide if I swath or use the rigid header?

I guess that sounds simple enough.
 

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Not me mind you.

A few will swath peas as a desiccation tool 7 or so day before harvest,
I've seen that work well but if it happens to turn wet the swath can turn to slime.
When swathed that green the swath seems to anchor not bad.
I just no fan of that practise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ended up using the rigid header. Did lose lots on the ends - which would happen with flex or rigid. Overall it worked fine and am glad I did it this way compared to swathing. I have a flex for next year though.

Used both reglone and glyphosate. The glyphosate sprayed peas seemed to harvest nicer with fewer losses as the plants were not so brittle.
 
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