Acme-Linden Foodgrains harvest breaks records


The Acme-Linden Foodgrains Project has now completed its 7th year and this crop of canola combined with donations has garnered this project as the best ever contribution.
Earl Jeninga, committee coordinator, was extremely pleased with the harvest in spite of summer weather conditions, some hail, and later than average crops throughout the area. "In spite of 17% hail we got 300 tonnes from this canola crop, which is about 54 bushels an acre. An average canola crop is between 40 to 60 bushels an acre so we were right on target. There was no significant frost damage and we got #1 and low dockage." Some of the crop was pre-sold and some was sold the day of the harvest. "We received $140,000, which averages to $10.75/bushel. That is a little under market now but the convenience for us was that it was taken all in one shot to Lyalta; we didn't have to store any of it." With the crop receiving $140,000, along with the silent auction fundraiser ($2500) and cash donations ($9000), Earl figures the final total to be submitted this year to the Foodgrains will be about $150,000. The government matches that amount by five times.
The canola crop was cut down and left for about a month until participating farmers had finished their own combining. When that day came there were 10 combines and 10 trucks and this was followed by a barbecue supper. "This really is a community involvement project from those who participate with their time, their equipment, who organize the supper, the silent auction items, the donated meat, fuel costs and those who give straight from their pocketbook. This encompasses a lot of people."
With the crop receiving $140,000, this year was the project's best year to date. The next closest was a canola crop in the third year of the project that received $86,545 and a wheat crop 2 years ago that received $82,204. "We are still the largest project in Alberta both in land and donation and it wouldn't surprise me if we were second or third largest in Western Canada. But we do have an advantage in already having the land confirmed. Some other projects have to canvas every year for their land." To date (last seven years), a running tally of the Acme/Linden project shows it has contributed $555,112 to the Foodgrains, with the government matching all of that five times over.
Next year the crop will be wheat and there has already been dollars set aside to cover some of the early expenses. "We have a good start on next year." As a throwback to the history of wheat crops in Alberta and as a way to keep the interest in this project strong, the project committee is looking to make next year's harvest a high-interest spectator event with two of the 190 acres being harvested the old-fashioned way with thrashers, binders and stukes, wagons and horses. "It will be a demonstration, tentatively anyway, with help from Pioneer Acres."