The County of Grande Prairie has declared an agricultural disaster as a result of sustained drought conditions. Councillor Corey Beck, who initially requested the disaster declaration, says many in the community have been impacted by the recent historic heatwave and extended periods without rain.
“The recent rains… some got more than others, but it’s only sustained the inevitable,” Beck said during Monday’s meeting.
“It’s going to be a tough year for a lot of people, and I think it’s prudent we declare [it] today, so the province knows the situation they’re in,” he adds.
The county says Hay crops are yielding only 20 to 30 per cent of average at this point in the season. Barley crops are in very poor condition, with canola and wheat faring only slightly better.
The Rural Municipalities of Alberta, which created a guide to help municipal governments take steps towards declaring an agricultural disaster, says the declaration does more than bring awareness to an ongoing situation. The RMA says a disaster declaration can also help bolster collaboration with both the provincial and federal governments.
The County of Grande Prairie last declared an agriculture emergency in November 2019, after early and heavy snowfalls wreaked havoc on local crops.