Dry Conditions Update

A summary of the Drought and Excessive Moisture Advisory Group (DEMAG) meeting on July 29, 2021

AFSC has received over 1700 pre-harvest claims this year, which is far more than normal at this point, and has inspected roughly 75% of those so far. AFSC’s Agristability, crop insurance, and  forage/pasture insurance are the programs that are currently in place to help producers in a year of lower production. There is currently an ongoing assessment of what role the Agrirecovery program should play this year, but no plan as of yet. 

AFSC’s increasing of the low yield allowance threshold values is intended to encourage producers to salvage crops for animal feed. There are discussions around the feasibility of opening access to public lands for grazing or hay, but nothing concrete as of yet.

The initial regions included in the Livestock Tax Deferral program are still posted on the federal website. the Second round of regional assessments for this program will be released in late August. It is expected that more regions of Alberta will be included in the second round.

ACIS is the Alberta Climate Information Service, which is “an interactive tool that helps producers, farm consultants, and researchers to see Alberta weather forecasts, browse over 10000 maps of Alberta weather and Alberta climate related information, and access near real time station data from over 350 meteorological stations operating in the province of Alberta. The maps and weather data describe Alberta’s weather, climate and related agriculture features to help with your long-term planning and decision-making throughout the growing season.” This data informs that crop and pasture insurance programs.

Farmers are encouraged to participate in the Agroclimate impact reporting to give direct feedback to their analysis. In some ways this reporting is more useful than a municipal agricultural disaster declaration because even though it is self reported data, individual producers can provide more detail on the impacts to their operation due to weather. Please share the link to the 5 minute survey broadly for the best response.

Neither municipal or provincial declarations of an agricultural disaster will release any additional funding, but are an important part of drawing attention to the situation faced by farmers.

Information in this post provided by Ryan  Hallett, Agricultural Fieldman for Starland County who sits on the DEMAG on behalf of the AAAF.