Farmer Focus: Richard Crewe finds Prairie spirit at work

A wonderful example of the Prairie community sprit was shown to a recently emigrated UK family.

Graham and Jane Spencer and their son David, originally from Leicestershire, bought a farm near Yorkton three years ago.

Graham recently suffered a heart attack. Unable to work at this crucial time, he left David to harvest 2500 acres alone.

Word spread, and four neighbours plus the three machinery dealers in town, Case IH, John Deere and New Holland, each supplying a combine and driver, turned up unannounced and completed the task in two and half days.

Even the local radio station GX94 helped by providing supper for family and harvest gang.

Needless to say Graham and Jane are amazed by everyone’s generosity, but it’s typical of the Prairies – neighbours helping neighbours.

Graham, making a good recovery, says he’ll never be able to repay it.

A three-week dry spell has seen our gang clear 2500 acres with just 450 acres of oats left, our Case 8010 running flawlessly.

This year’s harvest is a real barn buster. HRS wheat has recorded our highest ever yield of 4.8t/ha at 14.5% protein, making Grade 2. Not very exciting output by UK standards, but in Canada – fantastic.

The local elevator thinks we’ve been feeding it steroids, as they are the biggest kernels they’ve ever seen.

Six-row Legacy malting barley is the same, coming in 98% plump and yielding 5.8t/ha.

The biggest surprise has been the canola, Liberty varieties averaging 3.5t/ha and Canterra Round-up Ready 2.8t/ha.

I’ve already trucked out 1000t of wheat, the six-row barley and canola, yet we’ll still be short of storage for half our oats.

Whether these exceptional yields are due to increased fungicide use or just a cooler July I don’t know, but I’ll take this season’s weather every year please.

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