GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB – The County Council has declared an agricultural disaster in the County of Grande Prairie.
Council shares that this is the fourth straight year the local agricultural producers have endured difficult conditions such as wet conditions delaying seeding, excessive rainfall, and cool weather, which have let to slowed agricultural production and poor quality crops.
“County Council is very aware of the hardships that our agricultural community is facing
as a result of the weather conditions,” said Deputy Reeve Peter Harris. “By declaring an
agricultural disaster, Council wants to bring attention to the devastating conditions
impacting crop and livestock producers and request more support for them.”
According to Harris, between 40 and 60 percent of crops currently remain in County fields, with the recent snowfall ends the chance of increasing the figures this season. Regionally, crop harvest is trailing 25 percent behind average: about half of the major crops have been combined, 19 percent have been swathed, and 31 percent are still standing.
Hay is in short supply in some areas of the County due to excessive and untimely rainfall that has produced poor quality hay. This means higher costs for livestock producers who will need to source and supplement their feed stores by hauling hay from outside the region.
It is important to Harris that this message is shared at a local level, as well as at the
provincial and federal levels.
“The farming sector is vital to the County of Grande Prairie,” he said. “The effects of this
agricultural disaster are felt across our communities,” said Harris.
Residents and visitors to the County are being reminded that many crops remaining in the fields to be mindful when hunting or participating in winter recreation activities as these crops can be severely damaged by vehicle and snowmobile traffic. Always obtain permission before travelling on what may appear to be open fields, shared County Council.