In response to prolonged drought conditions, the County of Forty Mile No. 8 has declared a Local State of Agricultural Disaster effective June 8.
A lack of precipitation throughout 2021 combined with high temperatures and extreme wind conditions has depleted moisture levels for grasslands, fall seeded crops and crops seeded in the early spring this year. Livestock producers have faced additional pressure as a result of degraded pasture lands, and dugouts are unusually dry due to a shortage of spring runoff from melting snow. These conditions have forced many producers to make a difficult choice between purchasing additional feed at record prices or to begin the process of selling off a portion of their herd, which takes many years of
careful husbandry to restore if sold.
The recent moisture is appreciated but has so far fallen short of the amount required to replenish livestock water supplies and return soil moisture to normal conditions. The Alberta Crop Report showed either poor (36%) or fair (52%) pasture growing conditions as of June 7, 2022 for this region. Despite rains in the past week, 91 per cent of sub-soil moisture (below 15 cm/6”) is ranked poor to fair.
The report can be viewed by clicking on the following link Alberta crop reports | Alberta.ca or by typing https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-crop-reports.aspx into the web browser of your choice.
Agriculture is an important industry in the County of Forty Mile No. 8 which supports the livelihoods of almost all residents. Through the declaration of the Local State of Agricultural Disaster, County Council hopes to promote awareness of the ongoing impact of these extreme conditions to the Provincial and Federal Governments, to encourage them to implement programs to provide support to the agricultural producers that have been affected.