County of Wetaskiwin News

Posted on: March 30, 2017

Crop Residue Management through burning

The 2016 growing season brought various challenges to producers across the province and in the County of Wetaskiwin. Extremely wet conditions resulted in many crops remaining in the field throughout the winter.

Some of these crops will be harvestable in the spring, but many of them won’t be and producers will need to dispose of what’s remaining so they can move forward with seeding for the 2017 season.

Some producers may want to burn the swaths or lodged crops left in their fields. Burning crop residue may be a reasonable option for some producers, but there are many things to be aware of prior to burning, including environmental effects, effects on soil, keeping the fire under control, disposing of debris properly and possibly dealing with insurance companies.

If the crop is insured through Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), please contact them before you make your final decision regarding burning. Additionally, if there is considerable damage to the crop due to wildlife grazing, please contact AFSC and make an inquiry into the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (WDCP).

Checklist for burning crop residue:

  • Contact the Director of Agricultural Services at 780-361-6226 to obtain a permit
  • When the Director of Agricultural Services comes on site to perform an inspection, these are the things they will be looking for you to have in place prior to issuance of a permit for burning:
  • Fireguard (30m)
  • Equipment on hand – one person per piece of equipment
  • Water on hand
  • Potential to make larger areas smaller
  • Back burning

If you have any further questions regarding burning crop residue, please contact the County of Wetaskiwin Agricultural Services Department at 780-361-6226. Fire Guardians cannot issue these permits.

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