#FarmToFood: Harvest is under way

Quality is key

Harvest is underway, and farmers are working hard to ensure the food you eat is of the highest quality. In Canada there is a reward/penalty system in place to ensure farmers deliver high quality food. We are rewarded for good protein, but penalized if there is insect or disease damage. This is in an effort to keep Canada’s reputation for the best grain and oilseeds in the world.

Simon Ellis Wheat Harvest Sunset | www.canolaeatwell.com

We test on farm

As we enter our field we have to ensure the crop is fully ripe and has proper moisture. The only way to do this is to harvest a small area and test the grain. We look at individual kernels to see if they have ripened completely. With canola we squish 100 kernels and count how many are green. If more than 1% are green than we will wait. The moisture is also very important; we cannot store grain that is too wet. High moisture grain can spoil in while in storage, and no one likes to eat rotten grain.

It’s go time

Once the conditions are good, its time to harvest. There is a major push to get the crop off as fast as possible; we want to get it off before rain, frost, or even worse weather events. This is when we get to see all of our hard work pay off.

At the mercy of Mother Nature

Unfortunately there are no guarantees in farming. We can do everything right, but at the end of the day it is up to Mother Nature to grow that crop. When things don’t go our way, we hold our family close and say, “There’s always next year.” Next time you meet a farmer, ask them how their crop was. If it was poor find out why, but if it was good celebrate!

Eat Well…Simon

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