Swathing Before or After Frost

August 28, 2014

With the canola crop maturing later than normal in parts of Western Canada, there’s some concern about frost hurting the crop.

Temperatures dipped close to freezing in some parts of the Prairies earlier this week, with reports of light frost in northern Alberta.

In this Canola School, Warren Ward, agronomy specialist for Eastern Saskatchewan with the Canola Council of Canada, discusses how frost can impact when canola should be cut.

Ward recommends waiting until after the frost event to assess the damage. Swathing immediately may be required to preserve yield after a heavy frost, but swathing too soon can also lock in more green seed.

Frost can also increase losses to shattering, so swathing may be preferred to straight cutting, notes Ward.

The Canola Council also has this advice on swathing and frost.

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