Farm groups welcome provincial drought support for livestock producers

Reaction to the provincial government’s announcement of financial support for livestock producers through AgriRecovery has been positive.

The President of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association Garner Deobald, and CEO of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Grant McLellan, both welcomed the announcement.

Both Deobald and McLellan said they appreciate the timeliness of supports made available, and expect a similar announcement from Ottawa.

Deobald says the 80 dollars per head being available to producers is a start.

“With the challenges that most producers are facing in the drought areas, 80 dollars doesn’t go very far these days because of transportation costs and feed costs, and it just seems like the over-head is much higher on everything with inflation, but it’s a good start and if we are fortunate enough to get it topped up by our federal AgriRecovery program that definitely will help, and bring it back up to where we were in 2021.” Deobald said.

He believes Sask. Crop Insurance, which is administering AgriRecovery, will be busy over the next few months.

“There are regions in the province where they’ve had adequate rainfall but the drought area has grown quite substantially, and again it’s put pressure on a lot of people here to try to gather up enough feed here,” Deobald noted. “I think Sask. Crop Insurance is going to be busy over the next few weeks and probably into early winter just to help out with producers accessing this program funding.”

As for McLellan, he would like to see Ottawa pitch in enough to where producers could get 200 dollars per head, the same amount offered 2 years ago.

“That’s certainly our hope,” McLellan said. “We’ve been calling for more support frankly but like I said, any help is welcome in the face of this many years of drought now that our producers have been facing. Any help to support them source feed and like I said keep those animals over the winter and be able to sustain their operations is welcome news.”

McLellan says it’s something producers have asked for during townhall meetings that the Cattlemen’s Association hosted over the last month.

“This was something that we heard — they need it, support like what was received in 2021 — support to help them pay for feed is the number one issue that we kind of heard about in terms of what kind of support would be needed if there was an AgriRecovery payment. Hopefully, we’ll get more details in another announcement from the federal government in short order, but certainly I know producers are going to be looking at how they get access this funding as soon as possible.”

More information, including application forms, will be available in the coming days, but producers can still reach out to SCI toll-free at 1-844-723-1211.

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