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Sturgeon County declares Agricultural Disaster

Drought, high temperatures have meant rapid decline in crops, hay, and pasture conditions

During a Special Council Meeting held on July 23, 2021, Sturgeon County Council voted unanimously to declare a Municipal State of Agricultural Disaster following the recommendation of the County’s Agricultural Service Board.

The request to make this declaration was due to rapid decline in conditions of various crops, including canola, spring wheat, and barley, as well as a significant reduction in hay crop yields and pasture conditions due to the lack of rain and extended period of abnormally high temperatures experienced in June and early July.

“After two years of heavy rains and flooding, our agricultural community is now struggling with a lack of rain and the effects of the extended heat wave,” said Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “Agriculture is vital to Sturgeon County and by making this declaration, we want to show support for our producers and create awareness of the challenges facing this very important sector.”

Although a municipal declaration of a State of Agricultural Disaster does not guarantee a Provincial Agricultural Disaster Declaration, it helps draw attention to the challenges being faced by local producers and may assist in motivating the provincial and federal government as well as agricultural organizations to work together and help those impacted by the drought conditions.

On July 22, the Province of Alberta announced an adjustment to the crop insurance program, which includes doubling the low yield threshold. This adjustment allows producers to utilize drought-impacted crops for livestock feed and may help address the feed shortages anticipated by livestock producers.

The last time Sturgeon County declared a state of agricultural disaster due to drought was July 20, 2015.

For more information, contact:

Angela Veenstra
Manager, Agriculture Services
Ph: 780-939-8330
email: aveenstra@sturgeoncounty.ca

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