Yellowhead and Parkland counties join Brazeau and Lac Ste. Anne
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Excessive moisture in two more Alberta counties has forced officials in the impacted areas to declare a state of agricultural disaster.
In Parkland County, about an hour away from Edmonton, farmers experienced up to 200mm of rain from mid-August to October. With the calendar approaching December and cold weather already in Alberta, time is running out for farmers to complete their harvest this fall.
“There is simply still too much moisture in the ground,” Mark Cardinal, manager of Parkland County Agricultural Services, said in a release. “Unless the ground freezes and precipitation is at a minimum, most of these crops will have to remain on the ground until spring.”
Mayor Rod Shaigec said he hopes declaring an agricultural disaster will bring attention to the situation, and the county will work with different levels of government to help farmers manage this difficult time.
Yellowhead County, which is nearly three hours from Edmonton, also declared a state of agricultural disaster as a result of excessive moisture.
“Our council has made this decision to declare a state of agricultural disaster to help bring awareness to this situation,” Mayor Gerald Soroka said in a release. “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.”
Yellowhead County said a letter will be sent to the provincial government to request disaster recovery and other support programs.
The Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) said it will do what it can to ensure farmers are taken care of.
“We talked to the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation and will be speaking with the (provincial) Minister of Agriculture to discuss what possibilities are out there,” said Lynn Jacobson, AFA president. “It’s a tough situation.”