Support is coming for Saskatchewan livestock producers affected by drought.
The Government of Saskatchewan today announced the province is making up to $70 million available to help offset extraordinary costs of feeding livestock to maintain the breeding herd in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan continues to work quickly with the federal government to jointly examine how AgriRecovery could help respond. Provincial funding will be available based on receipts or appropriate documentation for extraordinary expenses for the purchase of feed or transportation of feed or livestock, to provide cash flow to eligible producers impacted by significant drought.
“Immediate measures are needed as farmers and ranchers deal with significant challenges due to drought,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said. “Our government is committed to ensuring livestock producers have the support they need, as they continue to provide the high-quality food Saskatchewan families rely on.”
The program will be administered by Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC).
“We appreciate the province stepping up and providing their portion of the AgriRecovery payment,” said Keith Day, Board Chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association. “We look forward to a similar announcement from the federal government to provide their funding to ensure our producers get the help they need through these challenging times.”
“This support is promising, and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is thankful for how quickly the province stepped up to assist those livestock producers most in need, it will certainly help,” said Ray Orb, president of SARM. “We are confident that the federal government is working together with the province to assess how they can provide additional support through AgriRecovery and look forward to seeing what that much-needed assistance will be.”
Saskatchewan’s funding will provide eligible producers with up to $80 per head to maintain breeding stock for beef cattle, bison, horse, elk, deer, sheep and goats. The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to providing assistance as soon as possible to producers.
Other supports have been implemented to help mitigate the situation. The Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada have agreed to increase the 2023 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, so producers can access a larger portion of their final AgriStability benefit early. The AgriStability compensation rate also recently increased from 70 to 80 per cent. In July, the federal and provincial governments announced SCIC was doubling the low yield appraisal threshold values to allow additional acres of cereal, pulse, canola and flax crops to be diverted to feed. Saskatchewan has also frozen the 2023 rate charged to producers who lease Crown grazing land. Additionally, through the 2023 Crown Grazing Lease Rental Reduction Program, lessees may be eligible for a rent reduction due to the impact of drought.
Producers in some areas of the province are dealing with drought, particularly in western Saskatchewan. Precipitation has remained well below normal, contributing to a substantial moisture deficit and hindering recovery of pasture and forage ranges.
Additional information, including application forms, will be available in the coming days at www.scic.ca or call toll-free at 1-844-723-1211.
(Government of Saskatchewan news release)