County of Northern Lights Council Declares Agricultural Disaster

Thursday, October 10th, 2019 

AGRICULTURE DISASTER DECLARED IN THE COUNTY OF NORTHERN LIGHTS 

At the Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 Council Meeting, the County of Northern Lights Agricultural Fieldman spoke to Council in regards to the extreme weather conditions of the 2019 seed and harvest season. As a result of this discussion, Council made a motion to declare an Agriculture Disaster within the County of Northern Lights. 

“Agricultural Producers in our area have experienced harsher than average conditions, with many producers telling us it’s the worst they’ve seen in 50 plus years” says Blake Gaugler, Agricultural Fieldman. 

During May and June, the County endured extreme dry conditions causing drought,  wildfires resulting in evacuation, including producers and their livestock, and then frost causing poor germination contributing to stunted crops that did not recover. Then, through late June to September, the County received record rainfalls that drowned crops and spread disease. 

“Our concern is not only the devastating economic loss to our agricultural producers in 2019 but also into 2020. There will be a significant need for investment to rehabilitate the land before seeding another crop due to soil compaction and deep rutted lands.”  explains the Reeve. 

In addition to poor crops, livestock producers in the County experienced difficulty in carrying out haying operations resulting in poor quality feed or no feed at all for the coming winter. 

County Council is grateful to be listed as a prescribed region under the Federal 2019 Livestock Tax Deferral program; however, requests additional supports be provided from Federal and Provincial Government programs states a letter written by the County to both Federal and Provincial Agriculture Ministers. 

An Alberta Agriculture and Forestry precipitation map (which can be found here) supports the fact that several areas in the County have been severally impacted by a greater than 50-year event.

The following link provides producers with options from AFSC if crops are suffering:  https://afsc.ca/news/excessive-moisture-options-exist-for-producers-if-their-crops-are-suffering/

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