The heat dome sitting over Alberta may have dissipated somewhat but drought conditions continue across southern parts of the Western provinces, and Alberta Beef Producers is now asking for government assistance in dealing with the issue.
“We are getting into a situation that is pretty dire,” said Brad Dubeau, general manager at Alberta Beef.
Alberta Beef is being joined by other agricultural producer organizations in calling for the joint provincial-federal AgriRecovery Framework to be triggered to “support some of the extraordinary expenses” connected to natural disasters.
“Cattle producers are resilient and we have faced drought for a century or more,” Dubeau added.
But he stressed this year’s heatwave stretching across the prairies from the Pacific to the Canadian Shield has impacted agricultural operations across the West.
“This drought is so widespread,” he said. “It’ll require some support.”
The situation is such that cattle producers will be faced with decisions such as whether to sell cattle to make sure they can feed their herds.
Dubeau says if that happens, they are hoping to get tax breaks so, “they will be able to utilize those dollars to get back into the industry.”
Support is also being sought in accessing water for cattle as well as turning heat affected crops to feed.
“We’re looking for commitments sooner than later,” said Dubeau.
Dubeau, whose own ranch is outside Redcliff, said while southeastern Alberta is used to dry conditions, it’s far from immune from their impacts.
“My grandfather said when times are great, they are great,” said Dubeau, “and we’re 10 minutes from a drought.”
, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News