How Has The Southern Alberta Flood Affected Crop Producers?

The current flood situation in southern Alberta has been called the worst flooding event in the history of the western province. It is estimated that damages exceed $400 million and three deaths have been reported. Apart from this devastating event displacing tens of thousands of Albertans, the flood waters have left many farmers’ fields flooded. Although the majority of flooding was concentrated among urban areas, the question is, should yield loss be added to the list of damages?

What is the extent of the damage?

The massive flooding came as a surprise, since crop producers were previously looking at good weather for the season. Before the flood, Alberta crops were rated in good or excellent condition. At this point, the flooding in 2007 caused more yield loss than this year’s event. Farmers are hopeful that upcoming warmer weather will mitigate the risk of crop damage from flooding. If the rain continues, the local economy could take a hit due to a decrease in agricultural purchases.
Although southern Albertan farmers have seen the effects of flooding in their fields, central and northern Albertan farmers are enjoying perfect weather for growing. Since the flood event was confined to southern Alberta, commodity prices should not be affected. However, the damage cannot be fully examined until waters recede.

How should farmers re-enter their flooded land?

It is important to create a protection plan in the event of a flood. After a flood event occurs, it is important that farmers assess any damage to their equipment and crops, identify contaminated water and inspect for any chemical spills. Any damage to farming equipment should be photographed for insurance purposes. Also, damaged equipment should be reconditioned before use. If a clean up is required, it is important to be aware of the generation of carbon monoxide from gas powered equipment.
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Did the southern Alberta flood affect your crops? What do you think should be done to mitigate the effects of flooding in the future?
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