Three hundred acres of canola was harvested for the Canadian Food Grains Bank near Rosenfeld on Friday.
Volunteer Kevin Nickel is with the Common Ground grow project and says they planted Standing L-140 canola this year. He explains this variety, which features shatter-proof technology, allows farmers to skip the step of swathing before combining.
"Basically, we're often just looking for ways to simplify what we're doing here because it does involve a lot of volunteers as it is, so if we avoid one step," noted Nickel. "That was three hundred acres that didn't need to be cut by someone." He said this translated into less volunteers, time and equipment needed to get the job done.
As for the quality and yield of the crop this year, Nickel admitted that the field got off to rough start.
"We floated the canola seed and fertilizer on together and just harrowed it in because we've gotten accustomed to having rain almost constantly over the last few years, but this year the rain was really hard to come by," he said.
Nickel noted this resulted in a poor plant stand which had volunteers thinking about re-seeding the field.
"In the end we decided to leave it and now, opening it up, I am very encouraged," he added.
When all is said and done and the bills have been paid, Nickel expects the Common Ground project will generate between $50,000 and $70,000 to the Canadian Food Grains Bank this year.