Pulse School: Staging pulse crops ahead of harvest

A hot, dry growing season has pulse crops charging towards maturity — is it time for a desiccant or pre-harvest pass of glyphosate?

Nevin Rosaasen, policy and program specialist for Alberta Pulse Growers, says that accurately staging a pulse crop, in this case lentils, is incredibly important to ensure farmers aren’t losing yield, crop quality, or ending up with product residues in the final sample.

Lentils mature from the bottom up, so it’s important to get down into the bottom of the canopy to shake those plants and listen for that rattle, signalling that the crop is mature. (Watch the video for more!)

Unlike cereals, where a thumbnail press can indicate moisture content or maturity, pulses will often be softer at the top vs. the bottom of the plant, because of how the crop matures. Rosaasen says that farmers should focus on the visual signs of the plant and not seed firmness to gauge maturity.

For those with variable fields and those that may have green patches in low spots, it’s very key that anything sprayed is mature and below that 30% moisture mark. It’s better to wait or spray around green patches and come back to spray than risk the yield loss or residue risk. Yes, it’s a hassle, Rosaasen says, but it’s a best management practice that needs to be followed.

Watch more Pulse School videos here!

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