EDMONTON, AB: With hundreds of thousands of acres lost or unused from the 2016 harvest, it’s time for the NDP government to begin to properly support the farmers impacted, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) has estimated that there are currently 960,000 acres of cropland still to be harvested with only 120 AFSC crop adjusters available for the entire province.
“Farmers can’t continue waiting for an AFSC agent to declare their crops usable or a 100 per cent write off,” Wildrose Shadow Agriculture & Forestry Minister David Schneider said. “The minister is obligated to farmers, especially under these extraordinary conditions, to exercise his authority and get AFSC to resolve this, as time is of the essence.”
Alberta farmers have until April 30 to let AFSC know what sort of insurance they want for the upcoming year. But without AFSC assessment farmers are stuck with their current crop and cannot seed.
Farmers are left with the choice of trying to harvest last year’s crop or destroying it so they can get this year’s crop in the ground. Wildrose MLAs met with the Agriculture Minister weeks ago to ask for immediate action on last year’s crop and have been pressing the NDP government for answers in the legislature.
“The NDP government needs to let farmers know, through AFSC and any public means, what options are available in order to get the 2017 crop in the ground and avoid another lost season,” Wildrose Shadow Emergency Response & Disaster Preparedness Minister Dave Hanson said. “Farmers need immediate action to ensure last year’s disaster doesn’t mean farmers’ 2017 crops are put at undue risk again.”