A farmer says theft and vandalism of equipment at his potato field in Sheffield caused him an expensive day during an already expensive summer for farmers.
Michael Slocum, co-owner of Slocum’s Farm Fresh Produce, about 70 kilometres east of Fredericton on Grand Lake, is warning other farmers to be careful.
On Sunday night, Slocum’s brought a water truck to one of the farm’s fields 28 kilometres from the family home, said Slocum.
Workers were going to be spraying the crops first thing Monday, but when they arrived that morning, the wires were cut on the self-propelled sprayer and five-ton water truck, the batteries were stolen and the licence plate and registration for the truck taken.
“It just kind of ruins your day,” Slocum said. “We lost the whole day yesterday.”
Oromocto RCMP did not respond to a request for comment, but Slocum filed a police report.
Shared experience with other farmers
Slocum’s is a fruit and vegetable farm based in Waterborough, with fields in the Sheffield area along the St. John River.
Slocum was “pretty upset,” and the business took to Facebook to post about the experience, alert other farmers and potentially deter thieves.
“I just want it out there, so people know that this is going on in the area again because it could be somebody down the road the next day,” he said.
After the post, other farmers and growers stopped by to offer their help or equipment, Slocum said.
Plans for more security
“It’s nice to know that not everybody’s bad in the world,” he said.
In an attempt to prevent this type of vandalism, Slocum is looking into extra security, including cameras.
He said if the thief had just stolen the batteries, it wouldn’t have eaten up as much time, which is especially valuable to a a business that’s open one season a year.
“Every day counts and we only get so many days in the season to get the work done.”
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