Canola School: Straight cutting for the first time? Here's what you need to know


The debate continues across the Prairies on whether or not to straight-cut canola. While some producers have been doing it for years, the process can be a bit daunting for others who have been considering the option.

Shawn Senko, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada, says in this Canola School episode that if you have a straight-cut header around for other crops, you may want to consider leaving some of your canola standing this year to trial it.

“Just leave some of that canola to stand, and get a feel for it. Try a few acres, and see how that header feeds. If you need to make adjustments or changes, it’ll give you a year to do that,” he explains. “Don’t be scared to try it. Just let some stand, and give it a shot.”

When it comes to the benefits of straight cutting, Senko notes that the primary interest is the one pass in the field.

“There’s been people who have gone to straight cut 100 per cent, and they’ve gotten rid of their swather. But there’s also other guys who maybe don’t need to change to that swather every year, they are only doing a few acres of canola, and it’s less machinery cost. Now with a lot of the varieties that are geared towards straight-cutting and shatter tolerance, there’s somewhat less risk.”

Although there is less of a chance of crop loss due to weather, such as having your swaths blow around the field, it is important to keep in mind that when straight cutting, pre-harvest desiccation may be required.

“This year in places we’ve got really stagey crop, so there’s stuff that’s going to be mature, and there’s stuff that’s still going to be fairly green. Senko says that desiccation or a pre-harvest application of glyphosate can help to get rid of the green, but proper timing is critical. And don’t forget that the pre-harvest interval listed on products is from spray to cutting, not spray to harvesting.

To learn more about the considerations, check out the conversation between Kara Oosterhuis and Shaun Senko at CanolaPALOOZA at Lacombe, Alta:

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture

Other Episodes

Canola School (view all)Season 11 (2019) Episode 12

Please register to read and comment.

Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag


Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.



These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.



Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp


Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.