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A dry piece of land sits next to the ranch of Dan Pahl, a local rancher who operates a 30,000 acre cattle ranch with 750 beef cattle.

Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

Alberta's agriculture minister says the drought means some farmers will face a dismal year but he isn't ready to declare a province-wide state of agricultural emergency.

Oneil Carlier says he recently toured a number of regions that have declared local emergencies.

He says some crops barely came up over his ankle and it is going to be a struggle for many producers.

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It's estimated that crop yields this year could be 25 to 30 per cent below the five-year average.

The Alberta government has responded by cutting rental fees in half for a program that helps farmers pump water to fill their dams and dugouts.

The province is also working with municipalities to identify additional public lands for grazing to help producers feed their livestock.

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