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Alberta Continues To Work On Helping Producers Dealing With Drought

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshin hit the road on Saturday with Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon and Associate Minister of Rural Economic Development Nate Horner to get a better understanding of the impact this year's drought is having on producers.

On Tuesday, Dreeshin said we’re working with industry to identify their most pressing concerns and making sure they have the supports they need to make it through this difficult time. We will continue to support the agriculture industry in whatever way we can.

Melanie Wowk, Chair of the Alberta Beef Producers, says she appreciated the opportunity to show Premier, Minister Dreeshen, Minister Nixon and Associate Minister Horner the impacts of drought first-hand.

"I value their acknowledgement of the severity and urgency of the situation. AgriRecovery programming and other initiatives are going to be essential to maintain Alberta cattle herds."

Brad Dubeau, General Manager of the Alberta Beef Producers thanked the Government of Alberta for taking the time to personally experience the drought conditions.

" On behalf of Western Stock Growers' Association, Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, Canadian Cattlemen's Association and Alberta Beef Producers, we are looking forward to discussing drought solutions for all producers in the province."

Alberta's Featured Supports Include:

- The governments of Canada and Alberta, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, recently doubled the low yield threshold to encourage Alberta grain farmers to divert additional cereal or pulse crops to be salvaged for livestock feed.

- Alberta’s Water Pumping Program provides assistance to producers in securing adequate water supplies for domestic, livestock or agricultural purposes.

- Alberta announced a 20 per cent reduction in premium costs for crop, pasture and forage insurance earlier this year, which protects against weather-related production loss. As a result, 400 additional farmers and ranchers enrolled, almost 1,400 farmers and ranchers increased their level of coverage and almost 230 clients re-enrolled after cancelling their insurance in 2020 or prior years.

- Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) hired an additional 21 adjustment team members in December 2020 and April 2021, bringing the total number of active adjustment team members to 119. The government has advised crop adjusters to be flexible and complete early assessments to convert crops to livestock feed.

The federal Livestock Tax Deferral allows farmers who sell part of their breeding herd due to drought or flooding in prescribed drought or flood regions to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year.

Dreeshin notes a number of provinces have joined Alberta in requesting that the federal government undertake a formal assessment for an AgriRecovery response. AgriRecovery is designed to cover uninsurable costs, such as those incurred due to extreme drought conditions.

The province is monitoring the situation and working with AFSC, other levels of government and our commodity groups to make sure farmers, ranchers and producers have the supports they need during this difficult time.

A more thorough list of resources for farming in dry conditions is available on the government website.

Click here to see more...

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