Saskatoon, Sask. – The National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling on the federal government to address the flooding crisis affecting many farmers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Seeding in Southwestern Manitoba is only 30 percent complete and as low as 5 percent in some areas, due to heavy rainfall and flooding of the Assiniboine River and Lake Manitoba. It is clear that some farmers there won’t be able to plant a single acre this year. Meanwhile, farmers in Eastern and Southern regions of Saskatchewan have also been experiencing excessive rainfall, reaching over 270mm since April 1 in some places. Seeding in Southeastern Saskatchewan is only 40 percent complete, with some farmers in the area having barely started. This year’s flooding comes on the heels of the flooding crisis that engulfed the Prairie region last summer, which saw between 10-12 million acres – one-fifth of all Prairie farmland – go unseeded.
“There is clearly an unprecedented disaster going on in a good portion of the Prairie region. It is imperative that the federal government provide assistance to these farmers to get them through the year. This could be an insurmountable situation for them,” stated NFU President Terry Boehm.
The NFU is calling for a $50 per acre payment on flooded farmland, up to 2,500 acres per farm, from the federal government.
“Crop Insurance won’t be enough. We are in the midst of a farm income crisis, and these farmers are facing land rental, fertilizer, weed control, and fuel costs. Not to mention that most of them already endured a flooding crisis last year. The acreage cap on the payments is to ensure that tax dollars are used responsibly, in this case to stabilize and protect family farms,” said Boehm.
“The federal government needs to take action very soon; these farmers need help,” added Boehm.