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Feds working on drought support

Feds working on drought support

Farmers from coast to coast are facing crop failure and feed shortages

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer 

Last week the government of Canada announced actions they were taking to support Canadian farmers impacted by severe drought conditions. Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau provided details in a July 23 announcement.

An early designation of the Livestock Tax Deferral provision “will allow beef producers who are forced to sell a significant amount of their breeding herd due to drought conditions to offset the resulting revenues with the costs to replace the herd,” said the July 23 release. This program will be available for designated drought areas of B.C., Alta., Sask., Man., and Ont. 

“Minister Bibeau announced federal support to all Prairie provinces for immediate bilateral adjustments to the cost-shared AgriInsurance program to make drought-damaged crops available for feed,” explained the release. “These measures will increase the amount of crops available for livestock producers in this time of need.”

Government officials are also conducting AgriRecovery assessments in affected provinces, and those provinces can also invoke the late participation provision of AgriStability. 

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture said these steps were encouraging in a July 23rd statement.

“CFA is glad to see this kind of support offered, recognizing further steps are required to deliver a comprehensive AgriRecovery response and ensure these measures are appropriately targeted. We must also take this opportunity to once again urge provinces to adopt the federal proposal to increase the AgriStability compensation rate from 70% to 80%, to ensure farmers have adequate support in the face of such potentially catastrophic conditions” said Mary Robinson, CFA President, in the statement. 

“These are the exact situations in which these programs are expected and needed to perform,” she explained. “As extreme weather events become more common it is imperative to have a strong base of support to limit the need for ad hoc responses during times of crisis.”

Bibeau also reminded farmers of recent Farm Credit Canada customer support programs to help farmers facing adverse conditions on an individual basis, and encouraged producers to take care of their mental health during these challenging times. 

“During a crisis such as this, farmers facing the stress and uncertainty of providing for their families may suffer serious mental health impacts,” the release said. “Those needing help are encouraged to reach out for support, and can contact The Do More Ag Foundation.”

Gerrt Proteau\iStock\Getty Images Plus photo

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