The spotty nature of recent shower activity this summer in the Peace Region has resulted in a wide variety of both forage and grain crop conditions.
While last week’s B.C. Day rain storms left some Environment Canada weather stations with August 3rd records, the official total of 25 millimetres at the local airport station was well off the 1976 record of 37.3, and other areas got much less than that.
Crops on the Alberta side of the border in the Grande Prairie area have been described by a Northern Lights County councillor as, “A disaster, very stressed, non-existent.”
He estimates hay yields are one quarter to one half of normal, and says with grain crops not faring much better consideration is being given to declaring the county an agricultural disaster area.
That would make it the fourth county north and west of Edmonton to do so, but the President of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association says it is not uniformly dry across the region.
The livestock producer victims this year could be forced into unwanted herd reductions, because unlike in previous dry years, there’s little emergency feed to be had across the border.
Some ranchers there are fighting a two front war, one against the drought conditions, and the other against grasshoppers.