Bugs, drought, hail and rain didn't stop this harvest for charity

Kola farmers and area businesses support Canadian Foodgrains Bank harvest

After months of trying circumstances and four weeks in the swath, record warm temperatures meant Don Neufeld was finally able to call in the harvesting volunteers to the Crossborders Community Project on Sept. 17.

Neufeld manages the charity project, a contribution to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. this year a 275-acre field of canola located near Kola. It was his birthday that day, as well, and he said the sunny, breezy break in the weeks of rainy weather was “the best birthday gift” he could ask for, in what he called “an interesting year.”

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Challenge after challenge – bugs, hail, wet and drought - threatened this harvest. Despite that, it yielded 10,950 net bushels of canola, almost 40 bu/A.

Neufeld said, “We sprayed twice for beetles. Of course, we went through a period of drought, no rain and then we got rain. It’s a good thing it rained before it hailed.”

The canola was in the swath when hail hit, destroying 25 per cent of the crop. The tiny seeds can pop out of their shell very easily when it’s dry.

“We had swathed it, so the rain actually protected it, it wasn’t so dry when the hail hit it.”

Then, to add insult to injury, Neufeld said, “It lay in the swath for four weeks already. That’s not cool!”

With a small window of just the right weather in the forecast, Don and wife Jan organized the community gathering.

On short notice, the food caterer and a host of volunteers from the business community served up a noon meal of pork on a bun and hot dogs to a crowd of close to 100. Families feasted in their lawn chairs – a meal in the field.

Manitoba Coordinator Gordon Janzen attended the barbecue to thank the community and businesses for their support of the work of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to alleviate world hunger.

© Virden Empire-Advance