Farmers bag 100 bushel wheat crops

Don Wieben drives the combine these days rather than making decisions on the family farm.

However, what he sees in the field and on the combine monitors still makes him smile.

Never in his years farming has he seen such amazing yields: wheat yields of 100 to 120 bushels per acre.

“I’ve never seen anything like it up here,” said Wieben, of Fairview, Alta.

Daughter-in-law Bev Wieben called the yields phenomenal.

After three years of dry weather and a difficult spring, Bev was surprised by the yields.

“It’s pretty crazy. It takes a lot of combining,” said Bev, who on Oct. 10 estimated they had 18 days of combining left.

The exceptional yields have also left the family with crop storage problems.

Grain stored on the ground is a nice problem after years of dry weather in Alberta’s Peace River region.

“This looked like possibly the fourth dry year; then the rains came in June and July and it never stopped,” she said.

Excessive rain drowned out some crops on heavier land, and late rain slowed harvest and crop ripening.

Further north at La Crete, Simon Driedger estimates harvest is 98 percent complete in his region with surprisingly good yields despite the dry start to the spring.

“The crop turned out extra nice and the grades are good,” said Driedger.

His canola yielded a respectable 35 to 38 bu. per acre, considering the dry spring, but other canola fields have yielded 58 bu. per acre.

“It turned out to be not bad yields.” Art Funk, owner of Rolla Agricultural Services in Rolla, B. C,. said he estimates harvest at 75 to 80 percent complete with a range of yields.

“The cereals are fantastic, probably record breaking,” said Funk.

Canadian Prairie Spring wheat yields were 100 to 120 bu. per acre and hard red spring yields were 65 to 90 bu. per acre. Funk said he hasn’t heard of fus-arium problems in wheat, and many of the fields are grading number one quality.

“The early fields to come off were dry and number one. Last week they were tough, but still a good grade.”

He said canola yields were “all over the map,” but most fields yielded below average because of excessive rain. However, farmers are relatively optimistic about this year’s crop.

“If the crop comes off, they’ll be in a good mood. This week a lot of grain came off so they’re going to be in a good mood.”

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