Details have been announced on Saskatchewan's Agri-recovery Program, now referred to as the 2023 Canada-Saskatchewan Feed Program.
Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced those details,with producers able to submit applications to the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation starting next week.
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet with farmers and producers from across Western Canada and they’ve shared just how challenging this growing season has been for their operations,” said MacAulay. “With a federal investment of $219 million through AgriRecovery, we’re helping them recover so they can continue to feed Canada, and the world.”
“The livestock sector is a significant contributor to our provincial economy,” Marit said. “It is important we are there for producers through the current challenges. The program will provide some financial relief to livestock producers, helping them to maintain the breeding herd by providing funding to address extraordinary costs caused by the drought.”
This program covers 70 per cent of extraordinary costs related to feed and freight, incurred after May 1, 2023, through to the application deadline of March 1, 2024. Program funding will provide eligible producers an initial payment up to $150 per head to help maintain the breeding herd in the drought regions. Based on available funding, additional payments will be issued to program participants.
Eligibility is area specific, guided by the Canadian Drought Monitor. Producers will need to submit their receipts or appropriate documents for the extraordinary expenses. Eligible extraordinary expenses include purchased feed, self-hauling or transportation costs for feed or breeding animals, and/or land rented for additional grazing acres or additional feed production. Eligible animal species include beef cattle and other grazing animals, limited to bison, elk, deer, sheep, goats and horses.
“On behalf of Saskatchewan’s cattle industry, we thank the provincial and the federal governments for providing this much-needed funding for our producers who have been impacted by this drought,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Chair Keith Day said. “We appreciate the provincial government’s recognition of the urgency of the situation, as was demonstrated through their funding announcement in August. While today’s announcement is later than we had hoped, it will be a help to many producers that have already and continue to incur extraordinary expenses to ensure the wellbeing of their herds.”
This program is designed to help retain breeding stock. Breeding animals include females and males of the reproductive age of the species. A Saskatchewan Premises Identification is required to be eligible for the program.
The online application form will be available at scic.ca. The submitted application needs to indicate the number of breeding animals on hand, as of August 21, 2023, intended to be kept until January 31, 2024.
“SARM appreciates this announcement,” Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb said. “These measures are needed as farmers and ranchers are dealing with significant challenges in Saskatchewan, we are thankful for the contributions from both senior levels of government.”
This announcement is part of a larger disaster response totaling $365 million in federal-provincial cost-shared funding under the AgriRecovery Framework to help farmers and ranchers in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan with extraordinary costs due to this year’s extreme weather conditions.
"We greatly appreciate this much-needed provincial and federal support, as many producers continue to deal with consecutive years of drought," Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association President Garner Deobald said. "Improved BRM programming will require highly-collaborative and forward-thinking industry-government teamwork―as ownership of risk is shared and response time is critical. Producers outside the eligibility areas are also hard-hit, so we are hoping there will be some flexibility for those operations in need too."