Farmers affected by drought in five provinces—including Saskatchewan—are waiting for federal and provincial officials to complete the assessment of the disaster and how AgriRecovery can respond.
AgriRecovery is a federal/provincial business risk management program which helps farmers in extraordinary drought and flood situations. The program is cost-shared on a 60-40 basis with Ottawa covering the largest percentage.
In a Friday news release, Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says the Government of Canada is open to submissions that include direct assistance to livestock producers for added costs of obtaining livestock feed, transportation and water.
“The federal and provincial governments are working hard to try and get some programs out for producers, especially in the livestock sector,” said Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. “We are hoping to see more announcements shortly with more details on how this money will be distributed amongst producers.”
There is a severe shortage of feed due to drought and some farmers have already been selling cattle.
“The auction marts are booked full and that’s where Saskatchewan’s cattle herd is going right now—it’s going up for sale,” Lewis said. “Anything they (governments) can do to stem the flow of cattle to the auction mart is what’s going to be needed.”
The federal government also added more rural municipalities in the area covered by the Livestock Tax Deferral.
Manitoba is invoking the late participation provision of AgriStability. Farmers in Manitoba can sign up for the business risk management program, even though the deadline was June 30. Lewis would like to see the Saskatchewan government follow suit.