Saskatchewan is making $70 million available; Alberta working on its response
By Diego Flammini
Prairie livestock producers dealing with drought conditions will be eligible to receive government support.
On Aug. 21, Saskatchewan announced it’s making $70 million available through the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation to help livestock farmers.
Saskatchewan is also waiting to find out how the federal government will support farmers. In July, Saskatchewan formally requested an AgriRecovery assessment.
The $70 million in provincial funding will provide eligible farmers with $80 per head to maintain breeding stock for beef cattle, bison, horse, elk, deer, sheep and goats.
"Immediate measures are needed as farmers and ranchers deal with significant challenges due to drought," Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said in a statement. "Our government is committed to ensuring livestock producers have the support they need, as they continue to provide the high-quality food Saskatchewan families rely on."
Alberta’s government is also working on a support package for livestock producers.
In an Aug. 21 letter posted on social media, Agriculture and Irrigation Minister RJ Sigurdson outlined the work the provincial government is doing on this issue.
“We are working closely with the federal government to expedite the next steps and maximize on cost-shared federal funding, which is critical to ensuring the program provides the maximum benefit to producers,” the letter says. “In the meantime, the province is moving ahead with drafting program eligibility to help offset extraordinary costs of feeding livestock to maintain the breeding herd.”
Alberta farmers can expect updates on any support in mid-September, Sigurdson added.
The federal government is supporting livestock producers through tax relief.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the initial list of areas for the Livestock Tax Deferral.
Under this program, a producer can defer income if a breeding herd has been reduced by at least 15 per cent.
Regions in B.C, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are eligible for the deferral.