Brazeau County has announced a state of agricultural disaster, because of the amount of precipitation we saw this summer.
Brazeau County Reeve Bart Guyon told Global News that it’s been dreary in his riding.
“It’s kind of depressing right now,” Guyon said. “He has the drought in the springtime, which kind of put people in a bit of a mood. And then it rained just at the right time, and it hasn’t quit. When the rain quit, it snowed. So farmers have been banged on the head enough times right now that they’re feeling kind of depressed.”
Guyon said almost all the crops in the region have not been harvested.
“According to the stats that we have at the county, it’s about 75% in our northwest region that hasn’t been harvested,” Guyon said. “That’s pretty significant because when the farming community goes down in a community the community goes down.”
He’s asking for any sort of relief from local, provincial, or federal governments.
“We’re not fussy,” Guyon said. “It could be anything from low interest loans to deferrals to maybe an acreage payment, I’m going to leave the options open. The farming community has been hurting for some time and we’re losing farmers on a yearly basis.”
Guyon added that without some kind of aid, he’s worried farmers may choose to move next spring.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier said the province takes the issue seriously and the government continues to find ways to support farm families.
“We have taken a proactive approach by providing Alberta producers with Business Risk Management programs through the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation,” Carlier said in a statement Wednesday.
“It’s been a real heartbreaker of the year. We understand the wet and snowy conditions are delaying harvest and having an impact on the quality of crops in many parts of Alberta.”
Earlier this week, Farm Credit Canada said it was looking at ways to help western farmers faced with financial hardship due to wet conditions.
This could include the deferral of principle payments. FCC said other solutions to help farmers could include loan payment schedule amendments to help reduce financial pressures.
The company said it will work on a case-by-case basis with its customers and said those affected should contact their local FCC representative to discuss their situation and options.
Brazeau County said it will notify provincial and federal government officials of the state of agricultural disaster and request a disaster recovery program be set up to address the issue. With files from Global News (km)