Drought causes damage in agriculture throughout the province.
July 24, 2020 15: 40
Updated at 22h02
The drought is spreading desolation among the farmers
MATANE — While the drought in 2018 had been considered the worst in the last 150 years, especially in the East-du-Québec, now the situation hits again this season, but in the province of Quebec.
According to the regions, drought causes damage in agriculture even more catastrophic as two years ago.
The warm weather and lack of rainfall in June has affected the crop at the beginning of their growth, resulting in a first harvest of hay anemic. As the first cutting of hay is 45% to 55% of the total volume which a firm needs, a number of companies will be in lack of fodder to feed their animals.
“Many producers are wondering if they should sell their animals for slaughter in the fall because they will not have enough inventory to feed them during the winter,” laments the first vice-president of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), Martin Caron. “I’ve had echoes of producers of bison who sell their herd.”
The three regions which, in order, are included in the sad list of winners of the shortage of rainfall are the Mauricie region with a water deficit of 63 % compared to the same date last year, followed by Lanaudière with 62 % and the North Shore with 52 %. Then comes the National Capital with 51 %. This last is subdivided into three sub-regions, Portneuf, with 59 %, the Charlevoix region with 49%, and Quebec, including the Côte-de-Beaupré with 46 %. The Bas-Saint-Laurent is a shortage of rain of 41 % less than the previous year. In Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the deficiency is 40 %. “This is really exceptional, this year, is that the lack of water is everywhere in Quebec, confirms Mr. Caron. It has impacts on the hay for the animals, in addition to the cereals.”
The UPA has revived the Operation Hay put up in 2018, which this time, will take on a dimension of a province. “Currently, there is a topo with each of the regions with which we have discussions, described Mr. Caron, who is in charge of the dossier for the UPA. Asked the minister of Agriculture to set up a crisis cell with The Financière agricole, which has been done.”
A bit like two years ago, a coordination centre has also been established with the ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ) to provide assistance to agricultural producers. It has for mission to identify sellers of hay and to make the mesh with the buyers. “Usually, one is able to cope with the province of Quebec, says the spokesperson of the UPA. But, with the major impact in the province in full, it may need to look in the neighboring provinces or the United States to make purchases of hay.”