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Canada - Alberta farmers struggle with drought-induced crop loss

An exceptionally dry growing season has farmers in Alberta concerned that their harvest will take a big hit.

Although provincial crop quality is projected to be strong across the board, dryland farmers in the south will be particularly affected by the dry conditions, the Alberta Federation of Agriculture cautioned. Conditions in the region are so severe, that some producers have turned to insurance to make up for their losses.

“A lot of them have been saying they’re going into their crop insurance for sure this year,” Alberta Federation of Agriculture president said, adding that several farms did not have anything to combine and cut crops off for green feed.

“This is probably getting into some of the worst years we’ve seen [in the past decade].”

Jacobson remarked that even if it rains, it would be too late to make any difference. He also mentioned that farmers may have to pull back on their expenses if they want to cut their losses.

Farmers are already projecting their losses – some more significant than others.

Larry Woolliams, who owns a farm near Airdrie, mentioned that his crop yields could be down 30% due to the dry growing conditions. But he also told CBC News that he has heard from other farmers who are anticipating crop yield losses as high as 50%.

“We’re way down on our average rainfall … if we get rain it’s a quarter inch at a time, we just can’t seem to get that one, two-inch rainstorm,” Woolliams said.

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