County Declares Agricultural Disaster
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Due to prolonged drought conditions, Rocky View County Council declared a municipal agricultural disaster today. “This declaration highlights how one of the worst growing seasons in recent memory has created a very difficult time for our producers,” said Reeve Dan Henn.
Low soil moisture in the spring, lack of seasonal rain, and the prolonged heat wave in June and July have amplified the challenges farmers and ranchers are now facing. The east side of the County is experiencing particularly low soil moisture reserves, with much of the area seeing a once in 25-50 year low. The remainder of the County falls between very low “once in 12-25 years” to moderately low “once in 3-6 years” soil moisture reserves. A small portion of land on the western border has near normal levels.
These conditions have resulted in reduced sources of feed and projected low crop yields in the County. More than 50 per cent of pastures and crops across the County are currently rated as poor, with condition and quality tracking well below the five- and 10-year averages. Producers are expecting to see up to a 50 per cent reduction in yield for canola, wheat, and barley.
“Rocky View County recognizes the importance of agricultural production to the economy and stands with local producers during this difficult time. We will continue to advocate for relief measures at the provincial level and will support producers in accessing any recovery and assistance programs that become available,” said Henn.