'This was done on purpose': Steel bars destroy Canadian farmers' crops, combines
The Ontario Provincial Police is investigating after farmers uncovered several metal rods planted on their farms, destroying crops and combines.
Farmers in the townships of Bourget, Ont., and Alfred and Plantagenet, Ont., just east of Ottawa, all reported similar incidents to the provincial police in late November.
While driving his combine over the last of his corn crop last week, Bourget, Ont., farmer Thomas Wahler told CTV Ottawa that he hit a chunk of metal, piercing the back tire of the machine.
Wahler removed the tire and brought it to the repair shop. He later discovered the metal rebar was just the first of three to be found on his farm.
Rebars, widely known as reinforcement steel bars, are often used within masonry structures and reinforced concrete. The metal bars help strengthen structures and help with concrete tension.
“We found this rebar that someone hammered into the ground in between the corn rows,” Wahler said, adding that there was another bar taped to a corn stalk and sharpened “to a point.”
“It’s very frustrating for us . . . having to deal with all the other issues we already deal with, and now on top of that people doing something like this for no apparent reason.”
The Wahlers posted about the incidents on Facebook, prompting two more farmers to come forward, saying the same thing had happened to them.
Tracy Koch, whose family owns a farm in the township of Alfred and Plantagenet, Ont., told CTV Ottawa she’s certain the metal bars were planted on her property on purpose.
“I went out there with the metal detector and I was walking around for quite a bit of time before I noticed the rebar sticking out of the ground,” Koch said.
The bar was buried on an angle, roughly 30 cm below the ground.
“I don’t know if [there's] a reason – if we’re on the road and we’re bothering people – but this is our job. Farmers feed cities,” Koch said.
“I wonder if it's somebody that just doesn't like farmers in general,” Wahler speculated. “Or maybe someone who just wants to do damage, that's possible too.”
OPP have asked farmers to keep any metal bars they retrieve and to continue to look for any more rebars that may not be found yet.
With a report from CTV Ottawa