The federal government in Ottawa is preparing to give financial assistance to farmers in Western Canada who have been negatively impacted by drought conditions.
Farm Credit Canada (FCC), which is a Crown Corporation, says it plans to reduce the financial pressure on farmers who have been affected by dry weather conditions in Canada’s prairie region.
The farm lender said in a news release that monetary support will be extended to farmers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba who are facing financial difficulties.
Extremely dry weather conditions this summer have hurt crop quality and grazing lands for animals on the prairies, a situation that could lead farmers to experience cash shortages this fall and winter, said the FCC.
Financial assistance could come in the form of a deferral on principal payments or other changes to farmers’ loans.
The lack of moisture this summer extends a multi-year trend of below-average precipitation in Western Canada. Some farmers are also experiencing pest infestations due to the drought conditions, said the FCC.
While it is too early to calculate the financial impacts of this year’s drought, the federal government has estimated that the last multi-year drought in Western Canada between 2001 and 2003 led to $3 billion in agricultural production losses.