The County declared a State of Agricultural Disaster on Wednesday.
Lac Ste. Anne County has declared a State of Agricultural Disaster, thanks to the constant rain this summer.
The County says the volume and frequency of the rain has caused severe damage to crops, almost all of which have been affected negatively by the moisture. Stacy Barry of the County’s Agricultural Services estimates about 80% of crops have been damaged.
Barry says the goal of officially declaring this a disaster is to help growers with insurance receive some compensation. It’s also about the County showing support for its struggling farmers.
The constant rain has created a situation in which producers cannot access their water-logged fields. Barry says this has resulted in many farmers still not completing their first cuts of hay, which were scheduled to be done weeks ago. The small inventory that has been harvested is considered to be in poor condition.
Barry says four-straight years of bad luck for local producers has farmers looking to mitigate the issue.
“I have seen a few people branching out into diversifying crops, and dabbling in adding cows to an operation, if they didn’t have them before. [It’s about] spreading your risk over more diverse assets,” she said.
Barry says warmer, drier conditions could help with the issue, but weather forecasts aren’t looking good.
“It’s really tough – farming is a really high-risk-high-reward occupation,” she said.