The Government of Alberta says it is pulling together resources to help the agriculture industry withstand prolonged dry conditions. Those measures include consistent water supply, access to feed and managing financial risk.
Alberta’s continued dry summer is a concern for many of the province’s ranchers as hot weather places additional stress on growing crops and water supply. Large parts of the province are experiencing 365-day moisture deficits that occur less than once in 50 years.
“Alberta’s government is here for our cattle producers. We’re working with industry to identify their most pressing concerns and making sure they have the supports they need to make it through this difficult time,” said Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in a media release Tuesday. “We will continue to support the agriculture industry in whatever way we can.”
Featured supports from the federal and provincial government include:
- The governments of Canada and Alberta, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, recently doubled the low yield threshold to encourage Alberta grain farmers to divert additional cereal or pulse crops to be salvaged for livestock feed.
- Alberta’s Water Pumping Program provides assistance to producers in securing adequate water supplies for domestic, livestock or agricultural purposes.
- Alberta announced a 20 per cent reduction in premium costs for crop, pasture and forage insurance earlier this year, which protects against weather-related production loss. As a result, 400 additional farmers and ranchers enrolled, almost 1,400 farmers and ranchers increased their level of coverage and almost 230 clients re-enrolled after cancelling their insurance in 2020 or prior years.
- Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) hired an additional 21 adjustment team members in December 2020 and April 2021, bringing the total number of active adjustment team members to 119. The government has advised crop adjusters to be flexible and complete early assessments to convert crops to livestock feed.
- The federal Livestock Tax Deferral allows farmers who sell part of their breeding herd due to drought or flooding in prescribed drought or flood regions to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year.
Alberta has also been joined by other provinces in asking the feds to undertake a formal assessment for an AgriRecovery response that would cover uninsurable costs, including those incurred due to extreme drought conditions.
The province says it is monitoring the situation and working with AFSC, other levels of government and our commodity groups to make sure farmers, ranchers and producers have needed supports.
More resources for farming in dry conditions is available on alberta.ca.