The provincial government is committing more help for farmers in northwestern Ontario facing severe drought
By Jackie Clark
Last week, the Ontario government dedicated additional immediate aid for livestock farmers in northwestern Ontario.
The province is providing $5 million for the provincial cost share of the AgriRecovery program, and “calling on the federal government to include in the AgriRecovery program costs related to hay and other feeds, transportation of feed, transportation of animals to feed, measures to provide water to animals including trucking and equipment, temporary fencing and other extraordinary costs related to the drought,” according to an August 10 release.
Through a partnership between federal and provincial governments, the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage will increase from 50 to 75 per cent in drought impacted areas.
Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) was grateful for this additional support, however concerned about farmers facing dry conditions in regions not covered by the government’s support.
Though the announcement “is a critical step in signaling to farmers that help is on the way, we remain concerned about the impact that the persistent heat and lack of timely rainfall will have on operations in other parts of the province,” says Rob Lipsett, BFO president, in an August 10 release. “The increased cost of feed, as well as the costs associated with re-establishing hayfields and pastures next year will add to the hardship for those in affected regions who have not had any access to drought support.”
BFO encouraged federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau to accept the province’s proposal to “ensure support is delivered in a timely manner to those in need,” said the release.
Over the weekend, the federal government increased it’s total AgriRecovery contributions to $500 million, says an August 15 announcement from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This funding is allocated to farmers across Western Canada and parts of Ontario.
Farms.com reached out to BFO for comment.
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