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The benefits of certified seed from seed grower Seager Wheeler

Our History: March 1917

This cartoon from the March 7, 1917 edition of The Grain Growers’ Guide reinforced Canada’s role in supplying wheat to Britain, and fending off famine in the spectral form of the German enemy.

In that issue, advice on “Grain growing for profit” came from now-famed seed grower Seager Wheeler. As evidence of the benefits of certified seed, he referred to a competition in which 450 farm boys and girls grew a quarter-acre plot and then selected the best seed, with prizes awarded based on weight per kernels of 100 heads. When sown, this seed yielded 10 bushels per acre more for wheat and 20 bushels more for oats. “With such gratifying results obtained by the boys and girls on the farm, it may easily be seen how the interested grain grower can also increase his yields,” Wheeler wrote.

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The “Country Homemaker” editor that week asked for reader contributions for a special “Home Number” issue. Subjects included “How to link the church more closely to the rural community,” “A plan for backyard cleanup for rural districts,” “Correcting flagrant faults in children,” “Giving the young people a financial interest in the farm and stock,” and, “An independent income for farm women.”

In response to a farmer’s question on how much of his property could be seized fon non-payment of a machinery loan, he was advised that exemptions included “Bed, furniture, etc., in use, not exceeding $500; fuel and clothing for family for six months; three horses, mules or oxen; six cows, 10 sheep, 10 pigs, 50 fowl and food for same for 11 months.”

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