Alberta government officials are working with their counterparts in Ottawa to make changes to the crop insurance program to help farmers cope with the hot, dry conditions that have devastated operations across the province.
The low yield threshold will be doubled to allow farmers to use more low-quality crops for livestock feed, helping alleviate feed shortages during drought, the province said on Friday in a report. communicated.
“We have heard the industry cry for help, and this change will help farmers and ensure that it is possible to reap the benefits of these crops,” said Alberta Agriculture Minister , Devin Dreeshen.
The province says the adjustment encourages producers to quickly recover crops for livestock feed rather than seeing their fields deteriorate further and risk having nothing at all to harvest.
“We recognize that conditions this year have had a significant impact on our growers – and we are here to listen, collect feedback and engage our teams as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Darryl Kay, CEO of Agriculture Financial Services. Corporation, which manages the crop insurance program.
The province says it has advised crop adjusters to be flexible and perform early assessments of affected cropland and hay.
Dry conditions across southern Alberta have already prompted some counties to declare local states of agricultural disasters.
“A lack of moisture and all kinds of other conditions kind of pushed us to the point where we declared agriculture a state of disaster here,” Vulcan County Reeve Jason Schneider said.
He wants the provincial government to declare a province-wide state of disaster so that a wider range of help can be available.
“We’re kind of hoping the province can maybe come up with a few programs to help some of these guys weather this storm,” Schneider said.
Last week, the federal government promised the federal governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario that a joint AgriRecovery program would be created to support drought-affected producers ahead of the federal election. .
The province says its decision to cut insurance premiums for crops, pastures and fodder earlier this year has boosted the membership of nearly 400 farmers and ranchers.