A new study released by the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute says straight cutting canola crops is a viable method of harvesting.
And it’s noticeable from the highways.
Avery Simundsson, a PAMI project leader, says there is a big difference between straight cutting and swathing.
“Straight cutting has been done in Europe for a long time,” Simundsson said. “Last year, PAMI did a project to compare harvesting techniques for canola. We did find producers were looking for the best way to harvest their canola. But we just wanted to select the information for their situations and what might be the best harvest technique might be right for them.”
Simundsson says the goal of the study is to provide information that will help people make economic decisions about what harvest method may work for them.
She says it all boils down to timing for farmers who are trying to harvest their crops.
“They can help you with timing,” SImundsson said. “For swathing, the general rule is once you swath, it’s about ten days before you can go in with the combine. If you used the straight cutting method, with dessication, you can bring that window in a lot closer.”
Simundsson says it’s a very old technique that’s now getting some interest on the prairies.
“If you’re driving by a field that’s swathed, you can see a field of canola laying in nice rows for the combine to come pick up later,” Simundsson said. “If you see them cutting the canola standing and you don’t see anything left behind the combine, they’re likely straight cutting it.”
She says PAMI is not making recommendations, adding it’s good to have options in Saskatchewan variable climates.