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  • Writer's pictureCraig Baird

A Great Crop Year For Vermilion

In 1909, Vermilion was only a few years old but the number of people moving there increased every year. Many people wanted to take advantage of the excellent land and wide open spaces. It seemed as though almost every day, someone was getting off the train.

One reason for that was that the crops in 1909 were doing exceptionally well.

Crop reports in June 1909 stated that the crops were in advance of what they were at the same date the previous year. Winter wheat had withstood the winter well and very few fields have had to be reseeded as a result. The cold and wet weather was also not prevalent over the past month, allowing for an early start to the crop season.

Spring wheat and oats were described as having phenomenal growth, while more barley was planted by this point in 1909 than in 1908.

The Edmonton Bullet reported,

“The Vermilion Valley can hardly be said to have made much more than a start in agricultural development. Last year, as a result of the experimental nature of the crops, some of the wheat and oats was affected by the frosts.”

It wasn’t just crops doing well. Horses, cattle and hogs were all selling for high prices out of the Vermilion area.

By the autumn, it was expected that the area would enjoy a huge number of shipments out of the community. The hay crop especially was believed to be abnormally large, or was expected to be, for the year.

The only thing that was bothering farmers and livestock producers at this point was that there seemed to be an abundance of flies and mosquitoes, which were tormenting livestock. The warm weather of May provided them with a perfect opportunity for hatching and those insects were absolutely making the most of it.

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