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Local Agriculture Emergency Declared Due to Drought

PUBLIC NOTICE

Pursuant to Section 20 of The Emergency Planning Act, the Council of the RM of Excelsior No. 166 has declared a local state of emergency in which an agriculture disaster exists due to severe drought conditions.

August 9, 2021

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At their Council meeting held on August 9, 2021 the Council for the RM of Excelsior declared a Local State of Emergency for the entire RM in which an agriculture disaster exists due to severe drought conditions.  The RM is calling on the various levels of government to provide disaster relief to farmers and ranchers experiencing drought.

“Pastures where there may have been grass for grazing are now brown due to the heat this summer as well as the lack of moisture over the last few years.  Many ranchers are being forced to feed their cattle now which is considerably earlier than on an average year.  Several ranchers do not have sufficient feed for the winter and the cost of purchasing and trucking feed has increased drastically and is too expensive for many” stated Reeve Harold Martens.  Martens went on to say that ranchers are being forced to have to make decisions about cattle being brought to market to sell.  Cattle prices are low because of the number of cattle being sold and they will likely only decrease even more in the future as additional cattle are brought to market.

“Farmers with grain crops are also experiencing negative impacts due to the heat and the lack of moisture” said Martens.  Farmers entered 2021 with less moisture reserves and have experienced very little rainfall.  Crops have not germinated well, if at all.  Growth where it did germinate has been substantially stunted.  Crop conditions have deteriorated significantly and yields are extremely low.

“Our farmers and ranchers are in need of financial assistance to get through this.  We as an RM have taken a local lead in assisting by passing a motion to rebate 20% of the municipal agriculture taxes.  We are demanding both the provincial and federal governments come alongside and assist in this disaster as well” Martens explained.