Flood damage not as bad as feared in southern Alberta

Doug Dueck, area manager for the south region of Agricultural Financial Services Corporation, says flooding was not as bad as expected.
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A post-flood heat wave was just what the doctor ordered for flooded producers in southern Alberta.

“The hot weather is helping remarkably,” Doug Dueck, area manager for the south region of Agricultural Financial Services Corporation, said in early July.

“Those that are completely underwater, they’re not going to come back. We know that. There is some loss and in some areas, there is some significant loss. What we need is heat, and no rain for a week or two.”

There was no immediate estimate of how much farmland was flooded, but the corporation didn’t experience a high volume of calls.

“We’ve have some flooding but it’s pretty localized. Folks in low lying areas have got it worse than others,” said Dueck. “We don’t have an exact count on acres because we don’t have every farmer reporting to us.”

Areas in the southwest were hit with more than 200 millimetres of rain, and farms around the Medicine Hat area also received heavy downpours. But some areas around Taber and Bow Island were dry and got a badly needed soaking.

Wheat fared the best during the deluge, while barley fared the worst. Barley is a common crop in the south because there are so many feedlots. Producers who got a late start to seeding because of wet ground were generally worst hit.

“Generally, the land was quite wet here and folks had difficulty getting on the land early, especially on that Highway 2 corridor,” said Dueck.

People with crop insurance and damaged acres should call their local AFSC office. That’s especially important if a producer plans to work the land or attempt to salvage the crop for feed.

“They need to let the branch office know before they do that — we’ll come and look at it, and put an appraisal on it and go from there,” said Dueck.

“If clients are doing something with a flooded crop, they need to let us know before they destroy it or before they do something rather than taking it to harvest, even if there’s nothing there. We have to verify that and validate that and there has to be a claim put in for that.”

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