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Governments change AgriRecovery drought programming to provide additional support to producers

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are making changes to the AgriRecovery Drought Assistance Program to make it easier for producers to receive funding and to enhance financial compensation.

“Manitoba producers are working hard, and our government is committed to ensuring they are fully supported during this difficult time,” said Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau. “By making these changes to the AgriRecovery program in the province, we are making it easier for them to access funding that will help them when they need it most.”

Changes include:

- eliminating the “producer share” for applicants to increase payments to each applicant. The “producer share” was set at $50 per head for cattle, bison, elk and horses or $10 per head for sheep and goats;

- reducing the compensation rate and the extraordinary expenses for feed receipts to 70 per cent from 75 per cent, which, when combined with eliminating the “producer share”, will increase funding to all applicants;

- increasing the maximum payment to $270 per head for cattle, bison, elk and horses from $250 per head and from $50 per head for sheep and goats to $54 per head, which will allow producers who have already received the maximum amount to receive an additional payment; and

- adjusting previous claims automatically, so clients do not need to reapply.

“We know producers need some additional support after last year’s drought, and these changes are the best way to accomplish that while staying within the parameters of the AgriRecovery program,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson. “This will help producers receive additional funding in a timely way so they can get the support they need as soon as possible.”

Johnson also noted that an extension has been put in place for the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program. The program, which covers feed, feed transportation and related extraordinary expenses, will now cover eligible expenses up to April 15. The application deadline has been updated to May 13.

The deadline has been extended due to extreme weather conditions in January and February that have required producers to increase the amount of feed used to maintain the health and welfare of their animals.

Under the drought assistance program, eligible expenditures between June 1, 2021 and April 15, 2022 include feed purchases, rentals of additional crop or pasture acres, temporary fencing for supplemental grazing, hauling water, harvesting extra acres and hauling self-produced feed from distant locations. Eligible animals under the program include breeding animals of beef and dairy cattle, horses raised for pregnant mare urine, sheep, goats, bison and elk. Producers must support a minimum of 10 animals to qualify for assistance.

“Manitoba Beef Producers has had ongoing engagement with the provincial and federal governments about the drought’s adverse effects and how to potentially modify programs to make them more responsive to cattle producers’ needs,” said Tyler Fulton, president, Manitoba Beef Producers. “These latest adjustments will help get more financial assistance to producers who have faced feed and water challenges and we thank governments for listening to the concerns and making these important changes.”

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