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Working into the night


While area farmers have been busy taking off their crops and getting closer to wrapping up the 2017 harvest, a few take time out of their own busy schedules to work for those that fight for the nutritional abundance we enjoy.
The last of the 2017 Fields of Jubilee crops were harvested on Sept. 30 when volunteers brought their trucks and equipment to the fields next to the Swan Valley Louisiana-Pacific plant late in the day to harvest the red spring wheat crop.
“We started at about 6:30 in the evening on Saturday and we were done combining by 11:15 p.m.,” said Swan Valley Fields of Jubilee Secretary Wayne Alford, adding that all the grain was under a tarp or a roof by midnight.
Seven people were involved, bringing with them four trucks, one grain cart, and two combines.
“One truck was a last minute addition – a semi from a fellow going by who realized that we needed help,” said Alford. “One driver was summoned from his cultivator at 7 o’clock in the evening. It takes special people to respond to the call in the dark on Saturday evening.”
An estimated 3,600 bushels of wheat were harvested, resulting in an approximate yield of 45 bushels per acre – a total value of approximately $22,000.
“The challenge (of growing this crop) was the excess moisture last fall and this spring,” said Alford. “Last September, the crop was harvested last minute before the October monsoons, so we got no fall tillage done, and the soil was very wet with straw cover insulating the surface.
“We finally got the field tilled and seeded on June 7, but then we got another 1.5-2 inches of rain in the week following seeding. It sure was wet and drowned out a lot of the crop.”
The crop that was harvested will be sold, and the money will be sent to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFB). Founded in 1983, CFB is a partnership of 15 church and church-based agencies which are working together to end global hunger.
“The money will be split between seven churches that we feel are represented and supported in the Valley –Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite, Anglican, Pentecostal, United, and World Relief,” said Alford. “CFB generally works to get emergency food and food-development resources to people who need it through the various church members.”
The proceeds from the recent harvest will be combined with the $39,414 that was made off of a field harvested earlier in the fall by the local Mennonite congregation.

Jeremy Bergen