Crops

 

The following table and text was provided to Joe Fafard by Roy Hickling to familiarize him with Ontario crops and aid in the development of his design.

 

Month

Week

Wheat

Canola

Corn

Soybeans

Oats & Barley

Sept. 1996

3

plant

       
 

4

         

Apr. 1997

1

         
 

2

         
 

3

         
 

4

fertilize

plant

     

May 1997

1

       

plant

 

2

   

plant

   
 

3

     

plant

 
 

4

         
June 1997

1

         
 

2

heads out

 

knee high

   
 

3

 

full flower

     
 

4

       

heads out

July 1997

1

     

bush out

 
 

2

ripens

 

tassels

   
 

3

       

ripens

 

4

         

August 1997

1

harvest

swath

     
 

2

       

harvest

 

3

 

harvest

     
 

4

         

Sept. 1997

1

     

drops leaves

 
 

2

         
 

3

         
 

4

     

harvest

 
Oct. 1997

1

         
 

2

         
 

3

         
 

4

         

Nov. 1997

1

         
 

2

   

harvest

   

 

Crops: Textural Considerations

Wheat

row width 7 inches

pre harvest - rows will not be prominent after it reaches full height unless the crop is light.

post harvest -

option 1- cut high and leave the straw standing for colour and a prominent display of harvest tracks.

option 2 - undersow with red clover when fertilizing, swath low, harvest the straw and allow the red clover to grow through the stubble. Most years the clover will grow above the stubble and will be green at the time of the plowing match.

Canola

row width probably broadcasted at random (maybe 7 inch)

pre harvest - appears very full and solid from flowering on with a hazy appearance before swathing. It is swathed green and the windrows and the stubble turn golden brown before harvest.

post harvest - The remaining stalks are about a foot long, pale yellow and are sparse enough to let the ground show through. Some harvest tracks will remain visible.

Corn

row width 30 inches

pre harvest - Corn grows rapidly to about six feet in mid July and remains a dark green colour until frost turns it light brown. The tassels offer a pale yellow contrast and there are varietal differences in their shade. A planter could be loaded in different hybrids to create a striping effect.

post harvest - The plants appear chewed up, tramped down and scattered around.

Soybeans

row width 7 inches

pre harvest - The rows will remain visible until the canopy closes in early July when it will look quite lush and dark green. When the leaves drop off in early September it turns a nice bronze colour with 30 inch stalks and pods up its full length. At this point the rows are visible once more.

post harvest - Soybeans are harvested at ground level and the straw is chopped and spread leaving a brownish cover over the field.

Oats & Barley

row width 7 inches

pre harvest - Similar to wheat with a slightly different shade during all stages. Barley has a similar appearance to wheat, while oats have a fluffy appearance.

post harvest - similar to wheat with same options to undersow clover.

Other Considerations:

Planting All of the crops except corn will be planted with a drill which lends itself well to curved or straight lines. You can turn quite short with them but can’t do a perfectly square corner. Sharp points that are narrower than the width of the planter would have to be hand planted.

Corn is planted with a corn planter and for ease of harvest the rows should be kept straight or have gentle curves. If we are planting up to a curved line of another crop, it will be difficult to stop or start right on it as they typically plant 4,6 or 8 rows at once leaving a stepped appearance but this can be easily remedied with a hoe. The outside edge of a corn field is planted with a headland of 3 or 4 rounds to give you a place to turn, but where corn is adjacent to one of our other crops we can also turn out on top of that crop.

Harvest We will harvest all of the crops as soon as they are ready with the possible exception of the soybeans, which will be left until after the plowing match. The positioning of the various crops should have no effect on the ease of harvest.

Design considerations

In general fairly large areas of each crop you choose and keeping fine detail to a minimum would make the layout and planting easier but farmers like challenges so don’t feel you have to make it too easy for us.

The main thing you should keep in mind is that the only two crops that will still be out at match time are corn and soybeans.

The corner that is the closest to tented city should be planted in red clover or alfalfa so that we have firm footing for our tent and viewing area.

I would prefer no fallow areas for reasons of weed control and so we can maximize our fund raising potential. However, once a crop is harvested there is the opportunity to go in with tillage equipment and expose the bare ground.

Crop choice

Wheat, since it is planted in the fall, offers us the opportunity to solve some of the layout problems at a time of year that is less hectic for potential custom work volunteers. If the weather does not allow us to plant it or if some of it winter kills, then barley or oats could take its place.

Looking at the crops from the basis of fund raising potential corn should be the highest, then wheat, soy or canola, with barley and oats coming last. Please don’t let this sway you too much because my crystal ball has been a little hazy in the past.

Fertility and Weed Control

As each crop has its own requirements for spray and fertilizer, this will pose the largest technical challenge. There are a number of herbicides that will work on more than one of the crops but none that will work on all.

There is such a wide range of options available to us that I think the best approach is for us to develop a strategy after you have supplied the design. I f we can think of changes that will make things work more smoothly then we will suggest them at that time.

Plowing Match Possibilities

There are a few possibilities to make the image more interactive with the match. These could include allowing parking , ploughing or harvesting on selected portions.

 

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Copyright 1997, Peter Lee