Foodgrains harvest brings in half million
Farmers harvest the Central Alberta Foodgrains crop on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 just northwest of Clive, Alta.(Photo submitted)
With snowfall in the forecast, volunteer farmers took to a field northwest of Clive Saturday to harvest the 2017 Central Alberta Foodgrains crop.
A total of nine farmers and their combines brought in 160 acres of canola in just three hours, which was then sold to the Richardson Pioneer Elevator for just over $110,000.
“The crop was excellent,” said Doug Maas, a committee member with Central Alberta Foodgrains. “We averaged 68 bushels to the acre which is really good considering we also had some hail damage in part of the field.”
Due to a four-to-one matching agreement with the Canadian federal government, that number jumped to over $550,000, which goes towards the Canadian Foodgrains Bank - a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working in harmony to end global hunger.
Right now, their focus for aid is countries affected by the famine in Africa, including South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. As a whole, they work to reduce malnutrition through education programs, achieve sustainable food security by helping farmers increase crop yields and advocate for improvements in national and international policies to end hunger.
There are over 30 projects in Alberta, and more than 200 in the country. Central Alberta’s has run for 22 consecutive years and is one of the oldest projects in the province.
Maas says it’s thanks to the community and the farmers across Lacombe County they’ve been able to continue for this long.
“No matter where we have it, east side of the QE2 or west side of the QE2, we always get tremendous support from local farmers,” he said. “They’re always willing to help us in the spring and in the fall and the agribusinesses continue to help us with donations of seed, fertilizer and spray. We’ve got a great base of volunteers.”
The canola was transported to the elevator by Vision Truck Lines - and has been since the very first year the Central Alberta Foodgrains project began.
“They’ve given us 22 years of support. That just goes to show you the fantastic support base we have to rely on,” said Maas.
A barbecue lunch was also held during the harvest which attracted about 100 people.
Nearby, the Ponoka Foodgrains project also harvested their crop over the weekend, which consisted of 175 acres of wheat.
Last year, the local crop yielded $93,000, despite being harvested on Remembrance Day after snow delayed the crop being taken off the field.
More information on the Canada Foodgrains Bank can be found at foodgrainsbank.ca.