Team Alberta will meet with the province’s agriculture minister and representatives from the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation Wednesday to request immediate action regarding approximately one million unharvested acres still sitting in farmers’ fields throughout the province.
They'll continue to recommend that farmers in the hardest hit areas of Alberta be provided with options for removing last year’s crop without having their insurance payout compromised.
“In many areas, destroying last year’s crop is the only solution that ensures farmers can seed this year’s crop early enough to avoid fall frost damage,” said Kevin Auch, Alberta Wheat Commission Chair. “We need quick action from the government to ensure farmers avoid a repeat of the circumstances they faced last year.”
Snow over the Easter weekend likely ensured that crops in hardest hit areas will have limited commercial value.
Added snowfall will deteriorate conditions even more, making harvest virtually impossible and further jeopardizing the viability of this year’s crop.
“If harvesting simply isn’t an option because of timing and wet conditions, the procedures around crop insurance payouts will need to be adjusted so farmers’ crops aren’t compromised two years in a row,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair.
“Farmers that were hit with more wet weather last week are even worse off since the conditions really aren’t conducive to harvesting,” said Greg Sears, Alberta Canola Producers Commission Chair. “With more snowfall predicted this week, the reality is that farmers in certain areas won’t have a viable crop again this year if options aren’t immediately made available to them.”
Wildrose shadow agriculture critic and Little Bow MLA David Schneider says the minister is obligated to farmers, especially under these extraordinary conditions, to exercise his authority and get afsc to resolve this, since time is of the essence.