The 12 rural municipalities are in the Interlake and Parkland regions
By Diego Flammini
A dozen rural communities in Manitoba have declared a state of agricultural disaster because of severe drought.
The lack of rain in municipalities like Alonsa, Coldwell, Grahamdale, McCreary and Ste. Rose forced the group to make the statement on Thursday.
“Due to the extremely dry conditions, grain, hay and straw producers have faced severely reduced crop yields and pastures have also been adversely affected throughout the growing season,” the statement says.
Livestock producers are worried about having enough feed and some farmers may have to sell part of their herds.
"That's definitely a reality for me," Tom Teichroeb, president of Manitoba Beef Producers, told Farms.com. "Some operations have been able to cope better than others but there's no doubt that there will be some culling."
The rural communities are calling on the provincial and federal governments for support.
The disaster declarations have been made at the local level, but assessments under the AgriRecovery Framework could give farmers immediate assistance, Teichroeb said.
"We certainly are hoping that a government official will go out there and quantify what's going on as a disaster," he said. "A large number of (rural municipalities) have declared that state and I would imagine there will be more to come."
The provincial government has contacted with the federal government.
But nothing can be announced until after Manitoba's Sept. 10 provincial election.
"I can't announce anything at this time," Ralph Eichler, Manitoba's ag minister, told Farms.com. "We'll be working hand in hand with the federal government to make sure we find every available dollar that we can get our hands on in order to make sure our beef herds are sustained."