Drought declarations prompt province to outline assistance programs

Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier is scheduled to update the province's growing conditions and offer a status report on government assistant programs on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. MT.

'We have been through worse times before, but if you look at the cattle side that's why we declared a drought'

Drought has left many fields across central Alberta parched this summer. (Rick Bremness/CBC)

Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier is scheduled to update the province's growing conditions and offer a status report on government assistant programs on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. MT.

The update follows two more Alberta counties declaring a state of agricultural emergency Wednesday.

Excessive heat and a lack of rain this spring and early summer have limited hay crops in Lamont and Wetaskiwin counties, leading to rising feed costs for the livestock industry.

"It's the cattle farmers who are really affected," said Daniel Warawa, deputy reeve of Lamont County. "Grain farmers yes, a little bit. We will be below average, maybe we will be a little bit pinched.

"We have been through worse times before, but if you look at the cattle side, that's why we declared a drought."

Several other counties have already declared states of agricultural disaster which is the first step in accessing government assistance programs.

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