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County farmer calls 2019 growing season a disaster

One local farmer says he’s never seen conditions as bad as they were this year. Following a growing season of wet, cold weather the County of Grande Prairie declared an agricultural disaster.

Broken Tine Orchard and Alde Farms President Kreg Alde says this year’s crop of berries, canola and peas were late or drowned out altogether due to too much water.

“We are a fourth-generation farm; we’ve been here since 1927 and we have never experienced a year like this.”

“The last three years our weather has been extremely wet and cold; there’s no extreme heat anywhere in there it’s all just cold and wet,” he adds.

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County officials say between 40 and 60 per cent of crops remain in fields across the region. It’s also being reported that regional farmers are trailing behind the average harvest process by about 25 per cent.

Alde says something like this can be detrimental to a small farm, leaving most people without many options.

“There are programs in place; some insurance but just like any insurance program, they’re in it to make sure they make money… The other thing is a lot of the insurance premiums are so high now with crop insurance that a lot of small farms can’t afford crop insurance.”

While Alde says he has some crop insurance, it’s currently unknown if he will see any help from it.

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