Agriculture minister Lyle Stewart expects crop insurance offices will be busy in Saskatchewan because of record dry weather.
That’s because parts of southern Saskatchewan are experiencing the driest year since 1894.
Stewart remains upbeat about crop production but he still expects plenty of crop insurance claims.
He has taken some steps to help producers, such as extending the farm and ranch water development deadline to the end of September:
“We’re prioritizing now,” Stewart said. “Digging dugouts, opening wells, piping water. It’s critical to get done in a timely fashion now.”
He says the farm stress line has been busy this year because of extremely dry weather.
The provincial farm stress line fielded 59 calls in July, a sizable jump from the 16 in July last year.
It’s pretty busy for this time of the year,” Stewart said. “Nobody calls that line at this time unless they’re really feeling it. I’m glad people are using it and again, it can be an avenue if people need it.”
Stewart expects production this year will be smaller than average and expects crop insurance offices will be busy.
“I expect there will be a substantially higher number of claims in the south,” Stewart said. “You can have a below-average crop and not necessarily qualify for crop insurance. It’s just been a long time since we’ve had a bit of a short crop.”
Stewart has also asked Ottawa for a tax deferral for cattlemen forced to sell their herd due to lack of moisture.