MarketsFarm – The Rural Municipality of West Interlake has called on provincial and federal governments for assistance as the region faces critically low rain levels and crop yields.
Current hay yields in the region are about 50 per cent of average. Typically, an average hay crop produces about one bale of hay per acre. Alternative feed sources are hard to come by due to high shipping expenses associated with delivering feed to the area.
Last week, the Council requested that the Canadian government and Manitoba’s Department of Agriculture “provide support and Ag Recovery to our farmers for tax deferrals, feed shortages, freight assistance, and compensation for additional wells being drilled,” as detailed in a resolution that was obtained by Portageonline.com.
These dire conditions are on the heels of an equally challenging 2018 growing season. With almost no carryout hay stocks from the previous year, some producers may have to sell off their herds.
As of July 31, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Drought Monitor characterized the Interlake region as mostly “abnormally dry” with some areas experiencing “moderate drought” conditions.
“What’s becoming critical right now is our pasture situation,” said Reeve Arnthor Jonasson, also a cattle producer, to Portageonline.com.
“We can’t seem to find a rain in the forecast and many pastures of people are looking ahead to start feeding cattle in a week, or maybe two weeks and water in their watering systems is running out.”
The council was planning to meet again on July 13 to further discuss the matter.