With high numbers of deer, elk and moose in many areas of the province, producers are reminded to take steps to prevent damage to stored hay and feed.
Deer, elk, antelope and moose are often attracted to agricultural fields and livestock feedyards. This is especially common in winters with extended periods of cold weather, heavy snowfall or crusty snow cover.
Producers can reduce or eliminate damage with these preventive measures:
” Move bales from the field to a feedyard or protected storage area.
” Use straw bales as a protective barrier for feed stores. Fencing can be more effective if bales are stacked two tiers high. Use fencing or place posts before freeze-up to prepare permanent stack-yard sites
” Store grain only in protective storage bins. Monitor stored feed and promptly chase ungulates from feed stores.
Producers who have taken steps to minimize ungulate damage but still suffer losses on stacked hay, stored silage or unharvested crops, can qualify for assistance and compensation.
The fish and wildlife division of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD), through the ungulate damage prevention program, offers producers advice and assistance to prevent ungulates from spoiling stored feed and unharvested crops.
The Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFS C), through the wildlife damage compensation for excreta-contaminated crops, stacked hay, and stored silage programs, provides financial compensation to producers who have consulted with fish and wildlife, and followed the advice given by the officer.
To qualify for these programs, producers do not need to have production insurance. There are no premiums or administrative costs, aside from a $25.00 assessment fee for each section of land (or portion thereof) on which the damage has occurred. Limited supplies of temporary fences are also available from SRD.