hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:24:36 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Resource Inventory
History of Development
Innovation and New Technology Visit Alberta Source! Heritage Community Foundation
Heritage Trails presented courtesy of CKUA Radio Network Canada's Digital Collections

Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Soil and Agriculture > Resource Development > Harvesting

Resource Inventory


Harvesting Harvest occurs when the crop is mature. This is measured by many different factors, such as the weather, or, depending on the crop, it may be its colour. A farmer may also do a moisture test, by pinching or creasing the crop to tell if it is ready for harvest. Knowing when to harvest a crop is a science in itself. Harvesting is usually a two-stage process. First the farmer swaths and then he or she combines. Sometimes, though, swathing and combining are done in one operation by straight combining, depending on the crop and the weather. Once the farmer knows when to harvest, he or she must make a decision about how the crop will be harvested.

Harvest begins with the cutting of a standing crop. Straight combining is usually the preferred harvest method in most of the world. Warm weather during the summer harvest season means that swathing could increase the risk of crop loss in most of these regions. Harvest in western Canada, however, takes place in the fall when temperatures are cooler, and the days are shorter. There is usually a rush to get the crop under cover and swathing offers the opportunity to speed up harvest. It is in a large part because of this that swathing has been widely adopted by cereal growers.

One harvesting method recommends that harvest take place when approximately 25 percent of the canola seeds are turning brown, even though the pods are still green. This is because canola pods shatter if left too long resulting in crop losses. Certain crops, such as lentils, peas and flax, can be subjected to chemical desiccation at about 75 percent maturity. The application of chemicals stops crop and weed growth, which results in more uniform drying from the tops to the bottoms of plants, throughout an entire field. The crop may then be harvested.


Soil and AgricultureHydrocarbonsForests

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on natural resources in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved