Drought Causes Alberta to Declare First State of Agricultural Disaster Since 2009
The province of Alberta, Canada’s second largest producing region of wheat and canola, has declared a state of agricultural disaster after severe drought seriously damaged crops and parched pastures.
For the first time since 2009, the province declared an agricultural disaster on August 19, allowing its crops insurer to access additional funds in order to meet damage claims that could climb to C$900 million (US$675 million) this season, according to Alberta’s Agricultural Minister, Oneil Carlier.
Yields for most crops in Alberta are expected to be 25% to 30% below average this season, according to the province’s agricultural ministry in an August 11 report. Canada’s wheat and canola harvests are forecast to fall to their lowest points in five years due to adverse growing conditions on the Prairies over the course of the season, according to a report issued by Statistics Canada on August 21.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Carlier said. “I have seen areas that had huge bumper crops last year and now the crop is barely getting past my ankles in the field.”