(16 June 2010)
Wet Seeding Conditions
For many farmers across Saskatchewan, this is the wettest spring they can remember. Instead of having seeded fields and emerging crops, they are dealing with water-logged land they are unable to access. Our government understands that farmers are frustrated – some producers have less than 20 per cent of their crops seeded at a time when 96 per cent of the provincial crop is usually in the ground. That’s why Premier Brad Wall, Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud, Crown Investments Corporation Minister June Draude and MLA for Carrot River Valley Fred Bradshaw recently toured areas of northeast and east-central Saskatchewan that have received excess amounts of moisture. They met with producers and rural municipality representatives and witnessed the wet conditions first hand to get a better grasp of the challenges facing our producers.
The toured areas included Nipawin, Tisdale, Hudson Bay, Porcupine Plain, Kelvington, Rose Valley, Lintlaw, Arborfield, Bjorkdale, Lanigan, Wynyard, Foam Lake, Watson, Naicam, Kuroki and Wadena areas. Many rural municipalities have declared themselves an “agriculture disaster area” due to the heavy rainfall that has left up to 30 per cent of the crops unseeded across the province. Insured farmers can receive up to $50 per eligible acre on land that cannot be seeded because of the weather conditions through Saskatchewan Crop Insurance. In addition, Crop Insurance also provides coverage for seeded crops that fail to establish due to flooding. The provincial government is also looking at options for additional support.
Saskatchewan’s extremely wet spring isn’t just affecting farmer’s fields – it is also resulting in more mosquitoes. Our government is taking steps to ensure that provincial surveillance activities continue and we will keep you and your family informed if health risks increase. Plus, we recently provided $1.1 million in one-time funding to municipalities to help them control the mosquitoes in their area. Preventative measures will also be taken in eight Saskatchewan communities that have been identified for control of Culex tarsalis mosquito habitat – the mosquitoes that transmit the West Nile Virus. The high-risk period for West Nile Virus in Saskatchewan is typically mid-July through August. The West Nile Virus risk map is updated weekly and available online at www.health.gov.sk.ca/west-nile-risk.
Your best chance to avoid getting the West Nile Virus, includes:
- Wearing insect repellent containing DEET;
- Wearing protective clothing;
- Reducing your time spent outdoors at dawn and at dusk; and
- Reducing mosquito habitat where you live, play and work.
Our government is also taking steps to keep you and your family healthy and make sure you get the best care and attention possible. Thanks to a new online “Specialist Directory,” finding information on practicing surgeons in Saskatchewan just got easier. People anywhere in the province can just click to learn more about local surgeons, the procedures they perform and their wait times. This new directory also empowers patients to actively participate with their family doctor in choosing the most appropriate surgeon, and make more informed decisions about their care. Having a first time ever centralized database of surgeons is another step in our government’s plan to transform the surgical patient experience and ensure that by 2014, no one has to wait more than three months for surgery. The Specialist Directory is available at this link.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Glen.
Past Legislative Reports