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Governments Provide Livestock Producers With Funding Options To Address Dry Conditions On Pasture

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are advising that livestock producers who have been affected by dry conditions on pasture in Manitoba can apply for funding to support water source development under Ag Action Manitoba.

“Safe and reliable water sources are critical for livestock producers during dry conditions,” said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau. “Through this cost-shared program, livestock producers can access funding to protect valuable ground water sources and adopt sustainable management practices. With the emerging risks posed by climate change, these farmer support programs are more important than ever.”

Funding is provided through the Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas beneficial management practice (BMP) under Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance.

Eligible items include:
• water source development – constructing new or rehabilitating existing wells or dugouts;
• solar, wind or grid-powered alternative watering systems;
• permanent fencing to restrict livestock access to surface water and dugouts; and
• permanent pipeline development.

“Our summer has been dry, and we recognize that many of our producers may require additional assistance to secure a safe and reliable water supply for their livestock,” said Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen. “Properly functioning and adequately protected ground and surface water sources are essential to ensuring the health of livestock and ground water sources.”

Ag Action Manitoba – Assurance: Beneficial Management Practices provides targeted incentive programs to agricultural producers and select industry service providers to advance the adoption of BMPs. These practices reduce identified environmental risks, improve agro-ecosystem resilience, build public trust and improve environmental sustainability of farm operations in Manitoba.

“Having access to stable water supplies is integral to cattle production in our province and water availability is certainly a key concern right now,” said Tyler Fulton, president, Manitoba Beef Producers. “Making this program available will help provide some producers with tools to better manage their water situation in the near term and on a longer-term basis. We thank the federal and provincial governments for opening up this program and look forward to continued engagement with them about the effects of the drought conditions and how to mitigate that.”

Any projects for water source development occurring after April 1 are eligible. Projects will need to be assessed prior to approval, and may require additional components (e.g. fencing of the dugout, alternative watering systems, etc.) in order to meet the BMP criteria.

Applications are now being accepted and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until Sept. 1. Applications can include retroactive expenses incurred as of April 1. Upon project completion, applicants must submit proof of a valid Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) with their claim (see www.ManitobaEFP.ca for more info).

“As we head into the hot summer season and with low precipitation amounts received over winter and spring, there is increasing concern around dry conditions and water quality and availability for livestock producers in Manitoba," said Larry Wegner, chair, Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA). “MFGA sees this as a proactive and appreciated step by the governments of Canada and Manitoba for livestock producers who have been affected by dry conditions on pasture in Manitoba to apply for funding to support water source development under Ag Action Manitoba retroactive to April 1, 2021.”

The Ag Action Manitoba Program is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Producers can contact their local Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development office, call the department toll-free at 1-84-GROW-MB-AG (1-844-769-6224) for more information on any of these programs and services, or go to www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Quick Links.

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