Is it time to buy the swather?

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?

Related: For 2021, Richardson’s to buy glyphosate-free oats

One thought on “Is it time to buy the swather?

  1. I didn’t see a poll link anywhere.
    Swathing of canola was never a thing here. It was too risky to swath as swaths blow away. Some canola was swathed this year but baled soon after. Yield was so poor it wasn’t worth running a combine through it. Canola is not popular because of harsh climate but a little is grown most years.
    My opinion is we should stop desiccation of crops before we lose our markets. Especially silly is desiccation of durum. It gets ripe on its own. If one is in a hurry swath it.

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