Options and Guidance for Unharvested Crops

Lac Ste. Anne County Agricultural Services and Fire Services departments team up to provide guidance and support for local producers dealing with unharvested crops.

As the snow cover shrinks and spring approaches, many local producers find themselves with unharvested acres remaining in field. With the potential to delay spring seeding operations, producers must decide to salvage, harvest, or destroy this remaining crop.

Lac Ste. Anne County Agricultural Services asks producers to weigh all the options, and know what’s in your fields. Test overwintered crop to determine suitability, salvage value, and if the remaining crop is safe for human and/or animal consumption. Further information regarding available options can be found on the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry website (www.agric.gov.ab.ca) or by calling 310-3276 (310-FARM).

Please contact your crop insurance provider prior to initiating any spring salvage, harvest or destruction activities.

If, after considering all options, burning the crop is determined by a producer to be the only available alternative, be aware there are standard practices and bylaws to consider.

Burning Considerations

In Lac Ste. Anne County, a standard Fire Permit is always required prior to any burning activity. There may also be fire bans or restrictions in place, especially early in the spring. Please check albertafirebans.ca for any restrictions prior to making a burn plan.

Smoke generated from burning can drastically affect air quality, with the potential to create health issues for those who may be susceptible. Poor visibility may also lead to traffic concerns and/or accidents. The impacts of burning can be far-reaching depending upon weather conditions.

Decided to Burn? Pre-Planning is a Must

Significant pre-planning must be in place prior to any crop burning activity. This is to be done for each case where there is an intent to burn. Use the illustration below for quick reference.

  • Cultivation must be completed around the perimeter of the burn area. It is recommended that this area be a minimum of 15 meters (45 feet) wide. Extended cultivation up to 100 ft may be required upon inspection.
  • Divide the area to be burned into manageable sections.
  • Burn ONE section at a time. This will help keep the burn under control.
  • Fires must be lit leeward. Fires must be lit to burn against the wind, NOT with the wind.
  • Monitor wind and weather conditions diligently.
  • Be aware, conditions change very quickly.
  • Be sure to check for any potential restrictions.

Fire Pre Plan

Fire Permits are Mandatory

Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Services reminds those who choose to destroy unharvested crops by burning, that a Fire Permit is required PRIOR to lighting any open fire at any time of year. Producers must adhere to the same standard recommended practice as is expected of anyone conducting burning activities within the County. Making the decision to light a fire without the proper documentation in place WILL result in penalties in accordance with the Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Bylaw.

The circumstances that have led local producers to consider burning crops as an option have been far from ideal. We understand the pressure and timeline constraints associated with this time of year.

ALLOW US TO WORK WITH YOU. Please contact the County office for any permit inquiries, questions or concerns at 1.866.880.5722 or (780) 785.3411. Additionally, producers are encouraged to visit the Ag Services section of this website at for regular updates.


Choose from the Following Agricultural Services

Rental Equipment

Lac Ste. Anne County offers numerous pieces of agricultural equipment and products for rent, from pest traps to pasture sprayers and much more.

Weed & Pest Control

Lac Ste. Anne County implements a spectrum of integrated pest management systems to control and eradicate noxious and prohibited noxious weeds.

Reference Library

Explore the County's frequently updated informational resource for farming, ranching and all things agriculture.

Agricultural Services Board

The County aims to maintain healthy populations of wildlife while controlling those species known to cause disturbance for residents.

About the County

Founded in 1944, Lac Ste. Anne County is a municipal district in central Alberta, Canada. It is located in Census Division 13, roughly 45 minutes northwest of Edmonton. The County's administrative office is located in the Hamlet of Sangudo. Its namesake comes from its largest body of water, Lac Ste. Anne.

Contact Information

  Box 219, Sangudo AB T0E 2A0
 lsac (@) lsac.ca
 (780) 785-3411
 (780) 785-2359