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SPECIAL: Cypress County Declares Agricultural State of Disaster

Welcome to a special episode of the Cross Border Interviews, where we delve into the pressing issues that shape our municipalities across Canada.

Today, we bring you the latest update from Cypress County, Alberta, as they declare a state of agricultural disaster for the third consecutive year.

Despite a promising start to the growing season, the hardworking farmers and ranchers of Cypress County are facing an uphill battle. Not enough rain, coupled with relentless heatwaves, have left their mark on the land, resulting in poor soil conditions. But that's not all. A formidable army of grasshoppers has descended upon the county, wreaking havoc on the already struggling agricultural landscape.

The Alberta Crop Report paints a somber picture, with a significant portion of the south part of the province showing either poor or fair soil moisture ratings as of June 27. In fact, the estimated soil moisture in Cypress County is the lowest it has been in over half a century.

Faced with these dire circumstances, Cypress County took swift action. On June 29, a fire ban was imposed to mitigate the risk posed by the arid conditions. And just two days earlier, the Agricultural Services Board meeting recommended declaring a state of disaster.

Cypress County is not alone in its struggle. Many rural municipalities across Alberta, including Stettler, Paintearth, Foothills, and Vulcan, have already declared an agricultural state of disaster this year. The situation demands attention, as the consequences reach far beyond the borders of these affected regions.

The decision to declare a state of agricultural disaster is about more than raising awareness. It serves as a plea for assistance from the provincial and federal governments. Without their support, agricultural businesses could face closure, exacerbating the challenges within the food chain and threatening the future of our food supply.

Today, we have the privilege of speaking with Cypress County's own Ward 9 councillor, Keith Ritz, to shed light on the state of the agriculture sector in southeast Alberta. We will explore the hardships faced by the resilient farmers and ranchers, and learn about the hopes and expectations of Cypress County.

Stay with us as we delve into this critical issue, seeking answers and exploring solutions for the heartland that sustains us all.

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Cross Border Interviews with Chris Brown was Produced and Edited by Miranda, Brown & Associates Inc.

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