Swathing versus Direct Harvesting of Winter Canola in Oklahoma and Southern Kansas.
Heath Sanders, Thomas Peeper, and David Zavodny. Oklahoma State Univ, 2307 N Lakeview Ct, Stillwater, OK 74075
Winter canola has been recently introduced into the Southern Great Plains as a rotational crop for hard red winter wheat producers. There are two accepted methods for harvesting spring canola in the Northern United States and Canada i.e. direct combining and swathing followed by combining several days later. Although both methods have been used successfully for canola harvesting in the Northern Great Plains, climatic conditions, and equipment readily available to the producer differ. Little is known about efficiency in harvesting winter canola in Oklahoma or the magnitude of harvesting loss expected with optional harvesting methods. Also, harvest losses could create a new weed problem for growers rotating back to winter wheat. Thus, harvesting loss was determined for 16 growers’ combines during harvest in June 2005. Average harvest losses from swathed canola picked up by a combine were 162 lbs/ac from the swathing operation and 35 lbs/ac from combining. Harvesting losses averaged 172 lbs/ac from14 fields harvested without prior swathing. Variation among grain combines was quite wide, ranging from 25 to 319 lbs/ac. Much of the variation was assumed to be the result of farmer inexperience in adjusting and operating their machines.