Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's 60-Day Standardized Precipitation Index as of July 7, 2015.
Alberta’s 60-Day Standardized Precipitation Index as of July 7, 2015. Data provided by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, AgroClimatic Information Service (ACIS) (July, 2015)

Parkland County Council unanimously voted today to declare the area in a state of agricultural disaster, as farmers in the area have been battling extremely dry conditions, and now, grasshoppers.

“These extreme drought conditions are devastating crops across Parkland County,” said Mayor Rod Shiagec. “Council wants to make it clear to our agricultural community that we understand, and will provide all means of support possible. By declaring a state of agricultural disaster, we hope to call attention to this extremely important issue.”

According to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry drought index maps, portions of the county haven’t seen this little precipitation (90 days prior to July 7) in 100 years. Additionally, relative to long-term average, pasture soil moisture reserves to a depth of 60cm in much of their region are at their driest (see map as of July 7, 2015).

The County will be informing the provincial and federal governments of the decision, and request the development of a disaster recovery program for the area.

Parkland County is located west of Edmonton, Alberta. It is nearly 600,000 acres in size and home to over 30,000 people.

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