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As the climate changes, farmers look to adapt

posted Sep 17, 2017, 10:44 AM by Action for Agriculture
Farmers across Canada and around the world are changing the way they operate as climate swings become more severe.

Kevin Auch is in his aging 9750 John Deere combine, harvesting canola in southern Alberta. This year's drought, now unleashing consequences in the form of fires and low crop yields, hit his area hard. But Mr. Auch's hopper has more grain in it than he expected, in part thanks to one of the ways he is adapting to climate change.

Mr. Auch is chugging through his fields with a straight-cut stripper header on the front of his combine, rather than a conventional straight-cut header. Both devices feed standing crops into combines, but stripper headers clip off just the plant heads, which contains the seeds. Conventional straight-cut headers mow down plants closer to the ground, which means putting more straw through combines.

This tweak alone results in Mr. Auch's land holding more moisture throughout the year, all while his combine consumes about 20 per cent less fuel because it does not need to chop up as much straw.