Helping Manitoba farmers predict effects of flood, drought on farmland
By Top Crop Manager
June 13, 2016 - Canada's agriculture and agri-food Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, has announced an investment of over $1.1 million for the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association. The money is intended to develop a hydrology model of the Assiniboine River Basin that will help predict the effects of flooding, excess moisture and extreme drought on agricultural lands.
Based on the new model, a web-based tool will be developed that farmers can use to gather information on their farmland to help effectively manage moistures levels and mitigate risk associated with drought and flooding.
"Extreme weather events have created many challenges for Prairie farmers in recent years," says MacAulay. "We're committed to working together with the agriculture sector to equip farmers with the tools they need to proactively manage business risks such as these."
Information collected will contribute to better risk management strategies for farmers and the agricultural sector and could potentially lead to the development of new and improved insurance products.
"The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association has engaged in this proposal as we believe grasslands and forage crops are a critical part of the solution for future flood and drought ravaged areas of the Assiniboine River Basin," says Henry Nelson, MFGA vice chair and project manager of the hydrology model for the Assiniboine River Basin.
Recent severe moisture events have impacted producers across the country. Since 2007, governments have been required to respond with AgriRecovery assistance multiple times to water-related disaster events including excess moisture, flooding and drought.
"The hydrology model will showcase proactive solutions for many stakeholders across the Assiniboine River Basin for flood and drought mitigation," adds Nelson.
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