The Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association is pleased to see the province step up to help support livestock producers struggling to maintain their herd with the drought.

Agriculture Minister David Marit announced $70 million dollars Monday to help livestock producers dealing with the increasing cost of buying and transporting feed or animals while still trying to maintain their herd.

Funding will be delivered through the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and allows eligible producers to receive up to $80 per head to maintain breeding stock.

Under the program, the per-head payment for beef cattle, bison, and horses works out to  $80 per head, $40 per head for elk, and $16 per head for deer, sheep, and goats. 

Payouts will be based on receipts or appropriate documentation for extraordinary expenses for the purchase of feed or transportation of feed or livestock.

The province's funding announcement came just days after the SCA sent a letter to the provincial ag minister calling for more support.

The SCA's ceo Grant McLellan says at this point, any assistance is going to be welcome.

"I mean the needs are many, and with the price of feed and the price of transport and freight, any support is welcome, but we're certainly looking for there to be more announcements coming soon. We're very hopeful that more funding will be on the way to follow up with the announcement."

McLellan says they'd like to see the federal government follow suit as the province has announced their portion of an Agri-Recovery payment.

SARM president Ray Orb agrees and is pleased to see the province's funding announcement. 

"We knew that ranchers and farmers especially on the west side of the province, particularly the southwest part of the province, are under a lot of duress because of the prolonged drought. For some people. we've been told it's in the sixth or perhaps the seventh year without getting hardly any rain at all."

Yesterday, Ottawa did announce the initial list of eligible areas included in the 2023 Livestock Tax Deferral.

Under the program, producers can set aside the tax implications from the sale of breeding stock for one year, offsetting the tax the following year when they repurchase breeding stock.

Orb says they've heard from producers that we need to see some changes to the program. 

"Some of the producers are saying if we just simply defer to next year and you know still dry next year producers aren't going to be able to buy their livestock or get livestock back again because it simply doesn't have enough grass."