23 November 2016
Declaration of Agricultural Disaster
Yellowhead County Council declared a state of Agricultural Disaster due to the current condition of many of the crops in the county. Council based the decision on recent crop reports where data showed excessive moisture on many crops in Yellowhead County.
Crop Reports Included in Article
With numerous crops still sitting in fields due to excessive moisture this growing season, Yellowhead County Council declared a State of Agricultural Disaster.
The number of acres unharvested and the extent of the damage within Yellowhead County has prompted Council to join with their neighbouring municipalities to declare a state of agricultural disaster.
“There are many years where growing conditions are perfect for farmers to have a highly productive season – this, unfortunately, was not one of them,” said Yellowhead County Mayor Gerald Soroka.
New data from recent crop reports have shown that many Yellowhead County agriculture producers have been heavily impacted by the consistently wet conditions this year. Many crops are still sitting under snow as there was never an opportunity for farmers to harvest their crops.
Based on crop reports the following judgments have been made: cereals are ranked definite disaster as 50% of the crop is still in the field. Oil seeds crops are 24% in swath and 21% standing, again approaching definite disaster thresholds. Hay crops are cut and baled over most of the County; however, much of it is sitting in the field as they cannot remove the bales due to saturated soils.
“Our council has made this decision to declare a state of agricultural disaster to help bring awareness to this situation,” said Soroka. “This decision came after we received input from our Agricultural Services Board, local producers, and is based on research done by our staff using the latest data from crop reports and visual inspections.”
“We are encouraging the province to review existing support programs with an aim to enhance or create new programs and to provide timely assistance to producers.”
Yellowhead County will send a letter to the provincial government about the declaration of a state of Agricultural Disaster and request a disaster recovery program and support programs be available to address this issue.