A new study from the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) has found that straight cutting is a viable harvesting method for canola.
PAMI, which is headquartered in Humboldt, Sask., carried out the study in 2016 using four treatments: Reglone, heat and glyphosate, natural ripening, and swathing, which was the benchmark.
Avery Simundsson, a PAMI project leader, said there were no significant differences found in yield, engine speed, dockage, oil content, green seed or seed weight between the harvest methods
Simundsson said the study helped to look at what other harvest options are available for canola.
“Swathing has always been the reliable harvest method for canola in Western Canada,” Simundsson said in a release.
“The goal of our study was to provide information that will help people make economic decisions about what harvest method may work for them.”
There was an expectation that straight cutting would result in larger seeds and higher oil content, but that turned out not to be the case.
No recommendation was made in the study on which harvest method to use, but Simundsson said that straight-cutting would be most appropriate for shatter-resistant varieties of canola due to a reduced risk of shatter loss.
She also said swathing and straight-cutting could be used together in certain situations.
“If you have a critical harvest window due to factors like weather, manpower or acres left to harvest, I can image people using a combination of straight cutting and swathing,” Simundsson said.
“It’s very dependent on the producer and their particular operation but we want people to consider whatever method helps you get all of your canola off in the best possible condition.”