28 July 2015

Agricultural Disaster Declared in Parts of Central Alberta

The drought this year has been the impetus behind the declaration of agricultural in a county near Edmonton Alberta. Parkland County has made the declaration after a dry spring and early summer.  Leduc County has received 200 ml less rain than in 2012.  Sturgeon County is also considering announcing the same declaration.  Crops are failing, there's little for cattle to feed on and now grasshoppers are an issue.  Some areas in central Alberta haven't seen dry conditions like these in 50 years.

Strathcona County, under consultation with neighbours and growers , has not declared an agricultural disaster at this time, according to a senior communications advisor with Strathcona County.  (this is a correction to my post stating they had).  Thank you Jennifer for clarifying the county's position.

It's sad to see crops like the one above clearly declining.  It spells disaster for the agriculture industry but it also means higher prices for the consumer.  Beef producers are concerned about their ability to feed their cattle now and through the upcoming winter due to crop decline and some have been forced to sell at least part of their herds.

The good news is farmers do have financial assistance available through crop insurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest.  AFSC, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation is monitoring the situation.  Farmers are encouraged to call AFSC at 1-877-899-2372 or visit the website www.afsc.ca for information pertinent to their location.  

The photos accompanying this post were taken last evening in Sturgeon County.

*The following counties have now declared a state of agricultural disaster:  Sturgeon County, Leduc County, McKenzie County, Parkland County, Brazeau County, Thorhild County. (as of July 27/15)

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