You could argue that the advent of more affordable glyphosate options increased the use of a pre-harvest pass on many western Canadian grain acres.
Using glyphosate before harvest can kill late weeds and reduce the amount of green stems the combine encounters, making straight cutting easier. In conjunction with some solid advancements in pod-shatter resistance in canola, many farmers have been motivated to #selltheswather. The two factors together mean that far fewer acres have seen a swather over the last five to 10 years.
But now, increasing scrutiny of not just glyphosate use, but especially in-crop use of the herbicide, has some crop buyers and end-users outlawing the (registered) use of the product, altogether. And that, my friends, could very well mean a revival of the many hours spent knocking down a crop with a swat’er.
Which brings us to our latest poll question. On your farm, do you foresee more, less, or the same number of acres getting swathed in the coming years?