Alberta Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier is poised to speed up if necessary crop insurance to help out farmers facing an uncertain harvest.
“While we’re optimistic for a better harvest weather over the coming weeks, we’re also ready to implement measures to streamline (Alberta Farm Services Corporation) processes, if necessary, so that producers spend less time worrying about insurance, and more time bringing in this year’s harvest,” said Carlier in a statement on Friday.
“This year’s harvest is a tough one,” said Carlier. “Certainly worse than last year at this time.
“I know farmers are a resilient bunch. We’ve been through poor conditions before and I am confident we will get through this adversity once again.”
A coalition of four Alberta crop commissions warned the province earlier this week that it must be ready to act quickly if the poor harvest season continues. Crops are well behind schedule all over Alberta and 7.8 million acres remain unharvested.
Carlier held a teleconference with representatives from Alberta Pulse Growers, Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola and the Alberta Wheat Commission — known collectively as Team Alberta — on Friday.
“Both the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation have learned some important lessons from the challenges of previous tough harvests over the last few years,” said Carlier.
The department’s focus is on hearing from producers and ensuring programs in place are helping as many as possible.
Crop insurance remains the “first line of defence” for producers, says the department.
Alberta Agricultureposts regular crop reports and agriculture moisture situation updates on its website www.agriculture.alberta.ca to ensure producers have current information about growing conditions.
Resources are also available to support producers in their decision making, including:
•Planning and preparing for dry conditions
•Drought management checklist
•Forage, hay and pasture management