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Top up for the 2023 Canada Saskatchewan Feed program is on its way

Agriculture Minister David Marit announced Monday that the top-up for eligible livestock producers through the 2023 Canada Saskatchewan Feed program, is on its way.

The program was put in place last fall to help producers maintain the breeding herd in drought-impacted areas of the province, by covering up to 70 per cent of extraordinary costs related to feed and freight from May 1st, 2023 to March 15th, 2024.

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says drought conditions are having a serious impact on livestock producers right across Saskatchewan.

"We will continue working closely with the province to ensure affected producers have access to the financial tools they need to protect their operations."

Saskatchewan’s AgriRecovery Program has been referred to as the Canada-Saskatchewan Feed Program since October 2023. 

Marit says the Program provides producers with additional relief measures to offset extraordinary costs to secure feed for livestock.

"What we had said when we first started is we were going to pay out the 75% up to the $200.00 and see where that got too. We had allocated about $70 million, and the federal government had allocated about $77 million."

Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb says SARM values the ongoing commitment from both levels of senior government to Saskatchewan agriculture.

Producers submitted their receipts or appropriate documents outlining their extraordinary expenses to the program.

Marit says they've seen a strong response to the program with just under 3500 applications and a payout of just over $66 million.

"There were some municipalities that the federal government didn't put into the program, they didn't allow them in. We (the province) did the whole province as far as our share. So those producers that are outside of the federal boundary that they seemed to come up with, we will be paying those producers a top-up of our share, which would be the $20."

The Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association says the last couple of years have been a struggle for cattle producers in the province and they're pleased to see the funding roll out.

CEO Grant McClellan says the program has made a big difference for producers who had the opportunity to apply for the program.

"We really saw the benefit of some of those dollars. As you know, certainly these are not small amounts when we talk about the feed that was necessary to help sustain some cattle herds through the fall, over the winter last year, and this spring. It's going to be necessary for folks to hold on to those animals so that we can hopefully regrow their herd."

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