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July 21, 2021 – Beaver County has declared a State of Agricultural Disaster in response to extreme drought conditions which have affected local producers.

An Agricultural Disaster Declaration can be used by municipalities to bring awareness to issues surrounding excessive moisture and drought which are having an impact on agricultural production.  It should be noted that municipal declarations do not automatically trigger access to increased funding programs, Provincially or Federally.  A Provincial declaration is necessary to trigger claim payments through AFSC.

‘County Council has issued this declaration of Agricultural Disaster to encourage the Provincial and Federal Governments to initiate necessary programs that can provide relief to our local producers, and that it is done in a timely manner’ stated Reeve Jim Kallal.

The weather has been very hot and dry over the last few weeks, which does factor in to crop development and potential yields. Across the County there has been some variability in the amount of moisture received and some areas may be a bit better off than other areas.

Canola crops have begun to bloom but due to timing of the heat, it will probably mean a 25-

50% or more yield loss in some instances, where field stands were already thin. Cereal crops show a range of tolerance to this hot, dry weather but some are becoming burnt or showing reduced seed head development. Other crops in the County, such as peas and flax, may be a challenge to harvest due to the stunted growth which has occurred.

Grass also requires moisture to grow and pastures in the area are drying out, which is a concern for livestock producers. Hay production has been taking place however producers are not getting the anticipated number of bales or the volume of weight in hay that they expected off the fields and this could lead to reduced feed availability.

Moisture is needed, and rather quickly, to get crops and grasses that are still surviving in the field through to the end of the season.

For additional information please contact the Beaver County Agricultural Department at (780)

663-3730.

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