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Lack of rain forcing farmers to turn small crop yields into feed, some will see complete crop failure

Last Updated Jul 20, 2021 at 8:48 am MDT


CALGARY – Farmers across the prairies hoping for rain as they watch the current drought ravage their crops.

The lack of precipitation has forced some to turn cash crops into feed, most will see reduced yield and quality come harvest time and some farmers will have complete crop failure.

Jason Saunders, who farms near Taber in southern Alberta, says it is a combination of a lack of rain and a heatwave at the wrong time of the year.

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“It certainly is very dry. My crop yield will be down substantially, maybe down 80 per cent. We will get something but it will be very little,” he said.

“it will make it a challenge to fulfill any, if you’ve got any contracts, to fulfill those contracts.”

He says this widespread drought is very unusual.

“It’s unusual for everywhere to have an issue all at the same time,” explained Saunders.

“Normally it’s more of isolated areas, not Prairie-wide.”

Agronomists point to a combination of dry conditions prior to seeding and hot temperatures throughout July as the reason growing conditions are so bad this year.

Farmers are calling for emergency relief as drought ravages crops across the Prairie provinces.

READ MORE: Prairie farmers pray for rain as drought, grasshoppers ravage crops and pastures

The government of Saskatchewan has already announced some drought relief.

The province of Alberta says it is also lobbying for federal aid for farmers.

-with files from the Canadian Press