Alberta producers discuss drought with Minister of Agriculture
Published Saturday, August 8, 2015 5:05PM MDT Last Updated Saturday, August 8, 2015 6:33PM MDT
Alberta’s drought was on the minds of many at the St. Albert Farmers’ Market as the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry stopped by to talk with small producers.
“We are in a drought. There are many, many dry areas in the entire province. Some good areas but we are mostly dry,” Oneil Carlier told CTV News.
“We have had some rain in the past few weeks for the most part it is too little, too late.”
A total of 17 municipalities have declared local states of agricultural emergency and are asking the Alberta government for help.
Producer Shane Erdmann said about 60 per cent of his land was too dry to produce crops.
“We can irrigate some of our stuff but that is probably only about 40 per cent of our land. The rest is all dry land.
“Quantity is where we are hurting.”
Dietter Kuhlmann said he too was finding it more difficult this year.
“We were very close to losing a whole bunch of crop and then we got some rain.
“Our customers are very happy that we can offer them what we have. It may not be the same amount that it normally is but actually we consider ourselves fairly luckily in this kind of a disastrous situation.”
St. Albert Mayor said many producers at the local market were still doing better than larger producers.
“Most of the people are growing berries or garden crops which generally fairly good but it is the larger crops that we are hearing are more difficult.”
Customer Yvonne Roffel said she has seen a difference in the size and quantity of produce at the market.
“Unfortunately the prices have had to go up as well.
“But to spend that money locally is such an important thing.”
However, Kuhlmann said despite the current situation he believed Alberta’s farmers would be alright.
“Survival is ingrained in them. They will find a way to do it.”
With files from Josh Skurnik, The Canadian Press