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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grew canola for the first time this year since my Dad tried it in the early 90's. Canola was in the 4th week of blooming and was about waist high. Well Monday night we had straight line winds of 70 to 80 mph for half and hour or more. Bent most of the wheat and canola over. Wheat appears to be coming back up but canola is about knee high now and leaning eastward. Stalks don't appear to be broken but they do have a bend in them. First question is will the pods fill? Second if they do I had planned on swathing it but have nothing fancy for a swather. How will a guy cut this tangled mess? Looks like the only way I could cut it is to cut it one direction and turn around drive to the other side of the field and cut the same direction again. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
 

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We've never had a machine with a rotoshear but it certainly would come in handy sometimes for Canola. What we did add to our 25' 2952 McDon was a powered drum that hangs behind and below the header opening which I know sounds counterproductive because it lowers the effective hole opening but we could not get a laid over canola crop we had at the time through the hole and this just made all the difference with this particular swather and hole size opening. You may find that you have to tilt the back of the header up higher to get more room at the rear header tube, play with reel fore and aft and even move over so your cutting as narrow a swath as you can so the header is running beside the previous swath if getting it through the center hole is a problem. One key to getting a crop like that through though is not pushing it, take your time by going slow and it might mean quite slow and don't try forcing it to the center with too fast a canvas speed ether.
 

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What I find works best is working into the lean. If its leaning to the east, start on the east side and swath north and south. You might have to go a bit slower but its still faster than just cutting one way. Goodluck!!
 

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What I find works best is working into the lean. If its leaning to the east, start on the east side and swath north and south. You might have to go a bit slower but its still faster than just cutting one way. Goodluck!!
Yup. Or if it's thick AND tangled consider letting it mature and put it straight through the combine.
 

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thousands and thousands of lodged and windblown canola acres cut, by cutting at an angle to the direction of lean you can often get under the crop and be able to cut both directions, and i am not sure now who has the best swather for this, but the old macdons would cut on the deck literally 2 inch stubble..
 

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What I find works best is working into the lean. If its leaning to the east, start on the east side and swath north and south. You might have to go a bit slower but its still faster than just cutting one way. Goodluck!!
thousands and thousands of lodged and windblown canola acres cut, by cutting at an angle to the direction of lean you can often get under the crop and be able to cut both directions.
Are you guys all using roto-shears on your dividers?

Although I agree it is best to work into the lean if going perpendicular to the lodging I find it is best to go exactly in the direction of the lean. This also helps protect swaths from wind at harvest time as well. The most surprising thing is that canola actually flows best going with the lean as long as you don't mind using the reel a bit.

I had lots of FLAT L150 in 2012 that HAD to be cut in a WNW to ESE direction. Nothing else would work.:(
 

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I agree with SWMan, cutting parallel with the lean is much easier, in my opinion. If your going to cut perpendicular to the lean then roto-shears really help. We use roto-shears because they came with the swather, an added bonus.
 

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I just thought that Canola grew 6 feet tall and leans down to 2 or 3 feet high normally. Then I saw some crops east of here in the fall and discovered that some of them actually stand up. Must be a here thing.... Where it never quits growing or flowering.

They will fill fine. Cutting the headlands will be a nightmare, but after that, go back and forth in the direction it is leaning, will cut and flow easily, and the wind won't blow the swaths. Going into the lean, don't even need the real, Leaning away, will need the reel slightly. You will find that it works better to start from one edge or the other
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the advice fellas! Would love to take the crop straight as time is not on my side this year, trying to work my job and work the farm at the same time until I can get enough built up to farm full time. Have a 20 ft 1859 MF straight header. (Like I said, not the most fancy equipment at my place.)Can a person let the canola mature and take it straight or will I loose too much to wind and shatter from the reel? I know some people spray it to kill it and then take it straight but then wind is also an issue again. If the price keeps dropping and weather continues to suck my canola days might be limited! Thanks again!
 

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Don't go against the lean, you will be cussing all day long, if you can go at it diagonal that would work
I am not quite sure what you mean here but if the canola is leaning east and you are cutting west I would say that is cutting against the lean. Very important in this situation to cut as high as possible(especially in tall canola) so that the plants are cut and can begin the process of flowing down the canvas, this will make life much easier.

I believe most of Western Canada has prevailing winds from the west so most canola would typically lean to the east. When cutting north/south the crop on the eastern canvas of the swather can often hang up making it through the opening causing a lumpy swath and the other side will be more prone to having stems on the outside of the swath. This will most certainly cause more risk of swaths blowing around. Newer swathers with bigger openings have reduced this problem, it also depends how wide of a cut and speed you are going. Of course it also depends how heavy your crop is.

I have had way more wind loss from north/south swaths than east/west ones, even though I rarely do that direction. Now I avoid it pretty much entirely.;)

Cutting canola is an art-form. You will pull into your first pass of the year on pins-and-needles and by the end of the season you will be doing it in your sleep.........literally!:eek:
 

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I am not quite sure what you mean here but if the canola is leaning east and you are cutting west I would say that is cutting against the lean. Very important in this situation to cut as high as possible(especially in tall canola) so that the plants are cut and can begin the process of flowing down the canvas, this will make life much easier.

I believe most of Western Canada has prevailing winds from the west so most canola would typically lean to the east. When cutting north/south the crop on the eastern canvas of the swather can often hang up making it through the opening causing a lumpy swath and the other side will be more prone to having stems on the outside of the swath. This will most certainly cause more risk of swaths blowing around. Newer swathers with bigger openings have reduced this problem, it also depends how wide of a cut and speed you are going. Of course it also depends how heavy your crop is.

I have had way more wind loss from north/south swaths than east/west ones, even though I rarely do that direction. Now I avoid it pretty much entirely.;)

Cutting canola is an art-form. You will pull into your first pass of the year on pins-and-needles and by the end of the season you will be doing it in your sleep.........literally!:eek:
SWMan, I'm not that far from you, but it's interesting that the majority of my swaths tend to flip from southern winds. They seem to come over the hills and do their thing whereas other winds really need to work at the swath to get it up enough to go over. I then tend to go North/South if it makes sense, but not all fields are efficient that way.:(

I've taken a real liking to straight cutting and have experimented with our crop, doing up to half of it each year for about 6 years now. Last year was the first time we dessicated. I used a draper header until this year, which can be tough without the pea auger. I plan on trying my hydraflex header this year, should feed well, but not sure about the losses on the knife, I plan on using the air reel to help keep shelling from falling out of the crop flow. I still have the draper as backup if I need.

I have only had success with LL canola in regards to shelling, Dupont's RR stood up too straight, and Dekalb's seemed to be too uneven to try leaving it.
5440 has been golden, and L130 was pretty good last year for the first try.
 

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I've taken a real liking to straight cutting and have experimented with our crop, doing up to half of it each year for about 6 years now.

I have only had success with LL canola in regards to shelling,5440 has been golden.
I bought a 2020 auger/flex head and might try doing some straight this year. Good to hear 5440 works well, most of my canola is 5440.:)

If it doesn't work I will give you a call....Ha Ha!;)
 

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Thanks for all the advice fellas! Would love to take the crop straight as time is not on my side this year, trying to work my job and work the farm at the same time until I can get enough built up to farm full time. Have a 20 ft 1859 MF straight header. (Like I said, not the most fancy equipment at my place.)Can a person let the canola mature and take it straight or will I loose too much to wind and shatter from the reel? I know some people spray it to kill it and then take it straight but then wind is also an issue again. If the price keeps dropping and weather continues to suck my canola days might be limited! Thanks again!
I straight cut some last year for the first attempt. Was very pleased. The only losses I could find were over the dividers, and a little modification helped that. Nothing shelled out standing, and I set the real so far back and high that little shelled before it got to the table. But an 1859 would have a shallower table. I choose a crop that was very consistent( it was hailed earlier than most and had no old pods left) Was very dense and tangled. North south headlands were virtually impossible, after that, it was as fast as picking up swaths, and no piles to worry about. It was much harder to get through the straw chopper though.
 
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