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Discussion Starter #1
Here's my dilemma. Flax was planted late this spring and after two freeze events this fall is still very green. Desicants just not able to perform this late in the season with our weather. Im really considering swathing the whole works and hoping to pick up in cold weather once its good and dead.

QUESTION:
How do flax swaths react to cold wet weather? Do things go to rats or is it like canola where things get good and dead but the seed quality stays pretty good?
 

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I would leave it standing. It is October 2nd, it is early yet. Let it get some -5 and 8 frosts, that will cure what ails you. If you swath it and it rains, it takes longer to dry out. Standing, it will dry out quicker after rain. Wet weather won't really bother it at this point for grade. But if it is that green, did the frost you did have not hurt it already?

Bear in mind I am not a fan of swathing anything, so take my advice for what it is worth. I do know I have swathed crops of flax at this point, only to have it rain, and then have to leave it overwinter, at which point it weighs about the same as pigeon feathers. Standing, (unless it snows a bunch), is much more likely to be harvestable, IMO. Had I left it standing, I would have been able to harvest it. Standing crop can only get so wet. Laying down it gets saturated.
 

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I swathed mine. Grain was pretty ready but straw had green in it still. It's one of those things where if you never cut it, it will never be ready. Standing you risk bolls shelling out in high wind, so there could be losses there. A flax swath is very porous and dries out quickly, so I wouldn't think it would be at much more risk of wetness than if it were standing. Risk is that a hurricane blows through and makes a mess, likelihood of that will depend on your area.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks SWMan, I was thinking along your lines before posting this thread... The seed has already been frost damaged and if I cant get this fall I could possibly pick rows up next spring fwiw.. Or at least bale it. We usually get 3-4 feet of snow here and would be worried of the mess of lodged flat flax next spring. Oh and btw, it is already lodged very bad so kinda is on the ground anyhow.

Wind is not an issue here
 

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We are swathing ours now most time we straight cut but the straw is staying green even after spraying 14 days ago. At least in a swath if I don't get it this fall it goes through good in the spring. Its testing dry on Monday night so all we need is a couple good days.
 

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Mine is also a lot greener than usual, swathing ours as well as much as I hate to. Weird year that I can combine soybeans before flax...
 

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I'd rather stragiht cut it... but... swathed flax over winters far better than standing. Trust me ;)


It doesn't really degrade in a swath... you'll combine a day earlier standing if it dries out. If the straw is green cut it... at least it'll run through the combine easier.

$0.02 FWIW
 

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concur swath - likely hood of seed damage very low - couple frosts will also help get green out - the unusual season almost assure stalks will stay green till hard frosts. We have even picked flax in following spring... though thats a nightmare scenario. wet harvest 88 and 89 we left couple hundred acres in field - half swathed and half standing - we harvested 24 bus acre in spring....its pretty **** tough (can also be a nightmare to harvest) though i would not wish on anybody. bottom line i not gun shy about swathing and flax is one crop you can harvest in reverse just as easily so if our swather can lay side by side windrows you can do full 50 or 60 feet depending on your size of swather.
cheers
 

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Biggest problem with leaving swaths out over winter here is wildlife. I left a few acres of flax swaths out in the winter of 02-03. It combined ok in spring although I did get the combine stuck once. Problem was the white tail deer had spent a lot of time on those swaths over winter and some of their "$--t showed up in the grain sample which meant the elevator would not take it. I ended up selling it to a feed mill and was just glad to get rid of it.
Last few years I have harvested my flax in late October. Swath right ahead of the combine. No danger of the wind blowing it away that way.
 

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I have had my 50 bu + flax crop swathed and in the windrow for about three weeks now, it has had 3'' of rain on it. The seed is now dry enough but I can not get this straw to feed through my 2388 combine. It keeps wrapping on everything, the auger head, the beater. I am running out of warm dry days to get this 80 ac in the bin. Any suggestions??
 

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Could the greeness be a headline fungicide issue? It keeps the plants alive longer and in lentils, canola, and flax it keeps the stems green forever and harder to straight cut.
 
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