Long days and lots of help. That’s how you harvest 6,000 acres of wheat, canola and peas. Jay Schultz, who farms with his father and brother-in-law near Standard, Alta., wrapped up the harvest last week. The growing season of 2014 will go down as one of the more disappointing ones for producers in Western Canada. Flooded fields, a late spring and dry weather in some areas are expected to reduce the size of Canada’s grain harvest by 25 per cent. At the same time, farmers are being paid less for their crops because of big harvests elsewhere in the world. “It seems this year everything’s gone wrong. Everything’s a battle,” said Mr. Schultz, who watched 20 centimetres of snow flatten his crop in September and had to use his combine to scrape the wheat off the ground, a slow process that makes machinery vulnerable to breakdowns and rock-jams. Follow the series by Eric Atkins at tgam.ca/wheat
Photos by Todd Korol for The Globe and Mail
Jay Schultz checks to see how his wheat is seeded in his field near Standard, Alberta.
Craig Nelson brother-in-law to Jay Schultz works vacuuming up last year's crop of wheat in a grain bin near Standard, Alberta.
The wheat crop ripens in the field as harvest time approaches.
Harvested wheat is unloaded into a grain truck while stormy weather brews above.
Ray Schultz grabs a shovel to clean a grain bin during the wheat harvest on their farm near Standard, Alberta.
Farmer Ray Schultz and his family grab a quick dinner during their wheat harvest on their farm.
Farmer Jay Schultz's sister Joy Rayton pulls grain from the front of the combine after the wheat got bunched up.
Farmer Jay Schutz eats his dinner after the sun goes down next to his grain storage bins during the wheat harvest.
Combine harvesters work in the field.
Farmer Jay Schultz's brother-in-law Craig Nelson climbs up a grain bin on the family farm.