Producers are being encouraged to submit their Harvest Product Report following a year of drought. (Advocate file photo).

Producers are being encouraged to submit their Harvest Product Report following a year of drought. (Advocate file photo).

Producers being encouraged to submit their Harvest Product Report

Producers are being encouraged to submit their Harvest Product Report to the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC).

Team Alberta says that there has been a drastic yield reduction this year and that crops are ranging from 50 to 60 percent of five-year averages.

“In the wake of the worst drought and extreme heat conditions that farmers have faced in two decades, Team Alberta continues to press the provincial government to acknowledge the ongoing situation and find solutions to protect farmers against the mounting risks threatening the stability and competitiveness of Alberta’s crop sector,” says Team Alberta in a release sent out this week.

Team Alberta is a working collaboration between four of Alberta’s crop commissions, Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Wheat Commission, recommends farmer’s submit their reports as soon as possible to expedite payouts.

The organization says they are and have been monitoring the situation since before indications that crop failures would be imminent and they have been meeting regularly with the government to alert them of the severity.

They say that despite the livestock sector seeing a $340 million AgriRecovery initiative for feed assistance, they have received no formal response and have been told there will be no program changes for the 2021-22 crop.”

“Our commissions are aware of and have been monitoring the accumulating risks that will extend well into the next growing season. We have heard a number of concerns that are not only beyond farmers control but also create increased uncertainty and risk on their operations now and into the future.”

Team Alberta has been pressing for the government to recognize the crop sector as part of the overall agricultural sector and implement solutions to ensure crop farmers can remain competitive.

They have also been regularly informing the government of the wide-ranging impact on the crop sector across the prairies. We have been advocating for the need for a proactive strategy by government to help smooth the impacts to the crop sector, support recovery and respond to the carryover impacts on the sector including: In July they team me with government Miister’s to alert them of mounting concerns in an attempt to develop a proactive response as the season moved into harvest and continue to maintain regular contact with the department of Agriculture and Forestry.

Team Alberta says farmers have a quite few concerns this year including, business risk management tools that are meant to support them and how they stand up in a year of need. Crop insurance funds will be depleted this year, further increasing farmers’ risk if liability is high next year.

They also have concerns about the carryover of next year, resulting in continued volatility in market prices or they have uncertainty that prices will follow regular seasonal patterns because drought is rarely a one-year problem and farmers are worried about risks beyond their control into next year.

“Prices normally rise in the spring and summer after harvest with delivery in the winter. This hasn’t been the case this year. Delivering on upcoming contracts will be competitive with much demand coming forward, it is uncertain how our farmers will fare or if there will be a switch to other markets given the higher-than-normal volatility,” says Team Alberta.

There is also increased concerns for disease, weed and insect pressure due to the dry conditions which will be carried over into the longer term

Team Alberta says that farmers are still trying to navigate the ever-rising cost of the carbon tax alongside increased energy prices, that stand to further impact farm income.

“The impacts of this year’s extreme weather conditions will extend well into the next growing season. Additionally, farmers are braced for another year of drought and volatility in 2022, creating the potential for a worsening situation next year. Farmers need solutions to ensure they do not become insolvent in the next few years due to the cumulative risk and financial impacts that they have experienced over the last four years.”