Poor har­vest com­ing this fall, farm groups warn Al­berta

Coali­tion says gov­ern­ment must pre­pare for $3 bil­lion worth of crops left in fields

Regina Leader-Post - - CITY + REGION -

ED­MON­TON A coali­tion of farm groups is warn­ing the Al­berta gov­ern­ment to be ready to re­spond quickly to an ex­pected poor har­vest.

The groups, which in­clude Al­berta Bar­ley, Al­berta Canola, Al­berta Pulse Grow­ers and the Al­berta Wheat Com­mis­sion, call them­selves “Team Al­berta.”

They say more than $3 bil­lion worth of crops re­main in the fields and gov­ern­ment agen­cies need to be pre­pared to re­spond promptly to un­har­vested claims.

Cold weather, in­clud­ing snow, has led to some crops be­ing har­vested wet or left in the fields, which af­fects qual­ity.

The coali­tion es­ti­mates only 26 per cent of canola, 57 per cent of wheat and bar­ley and 34 per cent of pulses have been har­vested so far.

Team Al­berta says con­di­tions at this point in the fall are worse than in 2016 when weather caused many crops to re­main un­har­vested.

“Farm­ers need an early and clear in­di­ca­tion of what the next steps might be in deal­ing with se­verely down­graded and high mois­ture crops,” Ja­son Lenz, chair­man of Al­berta Bar­ley said in a post on the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site Thurs­day.

“Agri­cul­ture Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Cor­po­ra­tion needs to make prompt de­ci­sions to deal with claims and com­mu­ni­cate in­for­ma­tion to farm­ers in a timely man­ner.”

Kevin Ben­der, chair­man of the Al­berta Wheat Com­mis­sion, says pro­duc­ers will take a ma­jor fi­nan­cial hit this year.

“Much of the wheat crop left in the field will be down­graded to feed, even af­ter dry­ing, re­sult­ing in losses of up to $240 mil­lion from milling qual­ity,” he said.

“We re­main hope­ful farm­ers can get back to har­vest­ing soon but 2018 will be a ma­jor hit to the bot­tom line.”

Farm­ers need an early and clear in­di­ca­tion of what the next steps might be. JA­SON LENZ, chair­man of

Al­berta Bar­ley

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