Farmer Focus: Record yellow pea yields for Richard Crewe

Harvest eventually started on 21 August and so far we have harvested 850t of yellow peas from 250ha (618 acres). This is our highest pea yield ever – the only problem is that not all of them are yellow.

A week of +30C heat, after swathing, left about 20% in various shades of green instead of curing them, so we hope we can achieve Grade 3.

The next crop combined was two-row malting barley CDC Copeland that also surprised with 4.8t/ha of a 95% plump and 11.4% protein sample.

The swather is over half-way through our total acreage cutting 540ha (1334 acres) of Canola and trying to keep about five days ahead of the combine gathering grain.

It’s been difficult to time the cutting of most crops correctly this year.

The Canola emerged sporadically so now the hill tops are a ripening brown colour and the crop is just starting to shed, while the low spots are really green.

Similar green low patches are also in both our HRS wheat and six-row Legacy barley, delaying swathing, while the last sown oats are ripening faster than everything. So it seems all grain crops will be ready at the same time.

I am often asked why we swath all our crops?

The answer is that we’re not on the flat bald prairie of the Regina Plain. We’re on undulating ground where ripening is drawn out, and I’ve seen some huge losses with heads dropping off while people wait to cut direct.

My harvest help this year is recently retired teacher brother Brian from Clevedon, the first of five younger siblings to visit since we came to Canada.

Needless to say quite a bit of retraining had to be done so that he could master the 18-speed Mack tandem-axle grain truck and the zero-turn 30ft swather.

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