Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wheat swaths, etc.

In Saskatchewan and other places where the growing season is short, almost-ripened grain is cut down and laid in swaths on the field in order to stop the growth of the grain and to speed the ripening and drying of the stalks. The risk farmers take with the grain on the ground is that lots of rain and strong winds can occur after swathing. The crops can't be picked up when it's too damp and if the grain lies on the wet ground too long it begins to grow mold and rot. If the swaths are blown apart the combine may not be able to pick up all the grain. Wet grain can result in a lower grade of wheat or sometimes it can only be salvaged as "feed wheat".
I had some fun with this photo I took of wheat swaths this August (2006).

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