Canola School: Seed Colour Change & Harvest Timing – Jim Bessel, Canola Council of Canada

Looks can be deceiving when you’re trying to figure out when your canola field is ready to be harvested. This year especially, varied staging in fields is a real issue. According to Jim Bessel, Senior Agronomy Specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, that varied staging will make harvest decisions a real “mindbender”. Bessel says that in a year like this, every farmer has to make their own call on when to swath. The best way to make that call is to get in the field and check those plants to establish what percent of the seed has changed colour. Your crop may look ready from the road, but only a look inside the pods can tell you if you’re ready to go.

I spoke to Jim Bessel about how we make that assessment and how much of that seed has to change before we need to move in and get this crop into the bin.


If you cannot see the embedded video below click here.


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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