Canola School: Determining Swath Timing and 60% Color Change

I have been around canola fields my entire life and when you factor in all of the growing challenges and key points, the most misunderstood is the decision of “when should I swath?”  I get more calls to our office during this time of the growing season than any other.  Swath timing is incredibly difficult to manage.

One of the challenges in a year like this year is that there has been dramatic changes in weather conditions resulting in some uneven maturity, rapid progressing maturity and the potential of high yileds in some areas.  What makes farmers very stressed is the fact is you swath too early or too late you risk leaving serious amounts of your potential yield in the field.  Canola can be a lot of work and losing yield is a serious disapointment.  Even more so when prices are good like right now.  What is suprising is that a high percentage of canola growers swath too early.  This is not good.

In this episode of the Canola School, Troy Prosofky, Canola of Canada discusses swathing timing.  Troy guides us through the decision making process in a field just outside Picture Butte, AB.  Troy shows us what 60% color change looks like and how to not be fooled by sun scald.  Troy finishes by describing why swathing at night is your best practice instead of during the heat of the day.

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Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4PM est. @shaunhaney


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