Even though this summer’s highest temperatures have not reached last summer’s heat dome, livestock farmers as well as the provincial government have taken action to help reduce the heat. The BC Dairy vice-chair Sarah Sache says that “So far, the animals are holding okay in terms of production but … we’ve been watching the forecast carefully.” While the temperatures in the Fraser Valley are not as high as last year they have gotten to the high 30s at the end of July and the hot weather is predicted to carry on into August. Livestock farmers say that as the length of time prolongs that production is going to decrease. Sache explained that her barns have fans and misting systems in the main cow barn that were installed a couple years ago and other farmers will be looking to add the same to their barns if they have not already done so after last year’s heat wave.
As the weather grows more unpredictable each year the province has decided to fund a pilot program called Extreme Weather Preparedness for Agriculture. This program will provide up to $1.5 million to programmes that would aid producers in conducting risk analyses and improving infrastructure. Sache is hopeful that this program will get farmers to start prioritizing these projects. The province is accepting applications until August 15 and ancipatices there will be future intakes in 2023 and 2024. In addition, the province has introduced the Beneficial Management Practices programme to aid farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural methods, enhancing drought resistance, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.