Harvest Prep – Tips and Tricks
Posted: September 21, 2017
As desiccation is starting to take place in sunflower fields around the province, its time to prepare for harvest. Sunflowers can be harvested when the seed moisture is below 20%. Harvesting when seed moisture is >20% can result is scuffing which reduces the marketability of the seeds.
Tips and tricks from the experts:
- Reduce combine speed as sunflower can easily shatter if heads are dry;
- Cylinder speeds range from 300-500 RPM with concave settings quite open (1″ in front, 3/4″ in rear) to minimize seed breakage and dehulling;
- Acceptable harvest loss: 10 seeds/sq. ft (don’t forget heads that have seed left in them) represents a loss of 100 lbs/acre.
- Fire Hazards: Keep combine and grain dryer free of chaff and dust (consider having a portable leaf blower on hand for this).
- Are your bins ready? Sunflower seed is safe to store at a moisture content of 9.5 percent or less. At 10 to 12 percent moisture content, seed can be stored in bins with aeration.
Desiccation: How, When and Why?
Posted: September 7, 2017
Why should I consider desiccating my sunflowers?
Natural desiccation can be slow and uneven. Poor weather can cause reduced quality and yield through stem breakage, shattering and predation by blackbirds. To speed up the natural desiccation process, it may be worthwhile to consider the use of a chemical desiccation. Chemical desiccants are generally typical herbicides that have achieved special registration to be used as a harvest aid.
What is the right STAGE to desiccate at?
Timing of desiccation is critical as application prior to physiological maturity can result in decreased quality, seed size and test weight. Sunflowers are physiologically mature at the stage R-9. At this stage, the seeds have reached maximum size and bushel weight. Visually, this is when the back of the head is yellow and the bracts are brown and seed moisture is between 30- 35%.
What PRODUCTS are registered as a Harvest Aid?
There are currently three products, Reglone (Syngenta), Desica (Syngenta), and Heat (BASF), registered as a Harvest Aid for sunflowers. Both of these products can be applied by air. The application rates for the products is as follows;
- Preharvest Interval for Reglones and Desica is 15-20 days.
- For best results with Reglones and Desica apply in the evenings or on a cloudy day for best results.
- Preharvest Interval for Heat is 7 days
- For all products high water volumes are needed for proper efficacy.
- The above products may have slightly different timing ranges. Consult the label or chemical representative for more details.
How to increase efficacy?
Coverage is critical when desiccating sunflower. This is because the back of the head of sunflower is so pulpy that improved coverage will increase rate of dry-down. Applying at the water volumes as suggested by the chemical companies will achieve the required coverage for desiccation. However, water volumes may be lower than desirable during application. If the application is timed when there is free water or dew on the plants, the products will spread‘ on the dew, resulting in a better desiccation. If activity in the plant (so after application) occurs when temperatures are above 20-25C, this will also aid in faster and more efficient desiccation and dry-down.Click here for the full bulletin.
Exploration of potential commodity group merger taking shape
Posted: August 31, 2017
Exploration of potential commodity group merger taking shape
Winnipeg, MB – August 31 – The roadmap exploring the potential merger of five provincial commodity organizations is starting to take shape following a series of productive meetings and a unanimous commitment to ensuring the process remains farmer-driven.
“This is a watershed moment for agriculture in Manitoba,” says Myron Krahn, president of Manitoba Corn Growers Association. “The directors involved in this process still have a lot of questions and there is still a lot of work to do, but progress on developing a comprehensive member-consultation plan has been made. As farmers, we need to make sure we look at the health and sustainability of the whole farm and not just one commodity over another.”
On August 1 of this year, the merger steering committee comprised of the staff leads from each involved commodity group and directors from each of the represented boards (Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers Association, National Sunflower Association of Canada and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association) met with advisor Rob Hannam of Synthesis Agri-Food Network in Carman, Man. The day-long meeting led by Hannam tackled topics related to direction, identified how a combined organization can be more effective, answered questions and concerns and established timelines for farmer member consultations.
With the intention of creating a proposal highlighting a path forward, the steering committee has begun talks surrounding the guiding principles of a merged organization; the purpose and benefits of such a group; the board and governance structure; maintaining relationships with partner and sister organizations and the decision-making process for members. Crop research and agronomy along with market development activities will continue to be the main focus and mandate of a merged organization, as it is today for each of the five groups.
“I think we all left the meeting with an appreciation for the sensitivity and attention to detail this process requires,” adds Krahn. “I will say this: farmer members need to drive this and we as directors need to make sure that happens.”
On August 22, another meeting between the commodity group heads (working group) took place to add the next layer of details to the plan and to establish timelines for communications, including engagement with all board members, the farmers who grow the represented crops and government.
“It is quite important that we hear from as many farmers as possible.” says Hannam. “So we have set up a special email address as a way to gather feedback. You can email your comments, ideas, as well as any concerns to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.“
Farmers who grow barley, corn, edible beans, flax, pulses, soybeans, sunflower or spring wheat are encouraged to send their feedback and/or questions to the email address listed above.
Synthesis Agri-Food Network
|Pam de Rocquigny
Manitoba Corn Growers and Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers
For more information, please contact
Director of Communications
Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers
Click here to see the pdf format.