Stettler County coping with one of worst farm seasons in 60 years

Stettler County coping with one of worst farm seasons in 60 years

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Stettler County council declared an agricultural disaster in the municipality after hearing a stark, sobering report on regional farming conditions at their regular meeting Aug. 11.

Director of Municipal Services Andrew Brysiuk submitted councillors a report from Quentin Beaumont, director of agricultural operations, that illustrated perfectly the summer of 2021: very hot and very dry for a very long period of time which equals a disaster for the farm community in Stettler County. 

One option councillors faced was to declare an agricultural disaster.

“A declaration of an agricultural emergency raises awareness of the impacts of the dry conditions affecting the area, but unfortunately does not affect eligibility for local farmers access to relief programs,” stated Beaumont’s report.

“Last Friday, Aug. 6 the province announced a relief program for livestock and bee producers. Other commodities are yet to be announced.

“Discussions with producers throughout the county have shown similar impacts of the dry weather in all areas, with the situation being most dire in the southeast portion of the county and getting marginally better as you move northwest. 

Most producers reported an intent to combine as the price of grains are holding well, but those producers are expecting only limited economic benefit due to reduced yields (25-40 per cent).

“Producers are reporting 20 to 40 per cent yield of normal hay crop harvests. 

This item is reprinted with permission from the East Central Alberta Review. For the complete article, click HERE

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