Thursday, June 12, 2008

World Harvest For Kids

Raiding the ol' email inbox again. I got these pictures with this information:

Record setting harvest was done in 2006, in Winkler, Manitoba , Canada .
160 acres was harvested with 100 combines and several grain trucks in 10 minutes and 15 seconds. This record will be entered in the Guiness World.
Proceeds of this crop is to be sent to a kids camp.
That's how we get it done in Canada !

Well, guess what. There is a website. They have more pics and a few videos - this drew quite a crowd.

One thing that is done differently in the "north country" is the growing season is much shorter than we enjoy in the south. While we grow "winter" wheat that is planted in the fall, lies dormant during the winter, grows in the spring, and is harvested in the summer, after ripening in the field. "Spring" wheat is planted in the spring and is swathed to kill the plant and let the wheat dry. This is what the combines are threshing in the pictures. A regular small grain header won't work on the windrows. A piece of equipment called a pickup reel is required. We use swathers on alfalfa and grass to windrow for balers, but that's about it in this area.

Also, in the top picture, you can see several trucks lined up. The far right one with all the wheels is known as a "B Train." These guys haul some serious weight. Wikipedia says they operate in Canada, but they also are permitted in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Either that, or the ones I've seen are outlaws.

The Feds have a law that truckers call "The Bridge Law." It is a formula that determines how far apart axles must be when considering the gross weight of each axle. The further apart the axles, the more the truck can "bridge." There are limits on how long the truck can be, plus there are gross weight limits as well, no matter how many axles the unit has. But, that varies by state. A "B Train" could only gross 85,500 pounds in Kansas. Since they are so heavy (tare weight), it would be a waste to try to haul here with that kind of equipment.

So, it's interesting to me to see the commonalities and differences in equipment and procedures that different states and Canada use for harvesting and hauling grain. Plus, having 100 combines in a field at the same time is just cool, I don't care who you are.


Anonymous said...

Waaay cool. I'm just finishing up a short contemporary novel set for the most part in Manitoba and at the last moment have decided to insert a chapter wherein a trucker hauling wheat to Churchill assists one of the main characters whose small pickup broke down on one of those fine northern highways. Your blog is a jewel, one of the ways I can verify that the small details add up to an accurate picture of what is described. Thanks! I have so enjoyed your work here.
PS: Please keep those Alberta Clippers home, would ya, pleeeeeze.

Anonymous said...

Just to update you..
Winkler attempted this record again this summer, this time officially breaking the Guiness World Record for most combines harvesting simultaneously for 5 minutes. There were 200 combines going at once!
Just thought you'd like to know!

Jeffro said...

Thanks for the update!