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Drought Relief Program Expanded For Manitoba Livestock Producers Under AgriRecovery Framework

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are continuing to support livestock producers by expanding the eligibility of expenses under the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program. Today, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson announced the addition of extraordinary expenses producers incurred in accessing feed, water and pasture as part of the program to address the challenges faced throughout the drought in 2021.

“Canadian producers have stayed strong and resilient as they took care of their land and animals, while facing natural disasters,” said Bibeau. “Our governments recognize the need to adjust risk management programs to support them. By expanding the eligibility criteria of allowable expenses under AgriRecovery, we are helping Manitoba producers get feed to their herds and move forward through this challenging period.”

“Manitoba producers care deeply about their livestock and these programs offer a flexible and responsive approach that will help them recover from the drought and plan for the 2022 growing season,” said Johnson. “Since the program was introduced in August, industry stakeholders have told us that the needs of producers had changed. In response, we recognized that producers need additional help with other extraordinary expenses to recover from the drought and today’s announcement addresses that expressed need.”

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program was established to help producers purchase and test feed for livestock to maintain their breeding herds, including through the transport of purchased feed from distant locations.

“Manitoba Beef Producers thanks the federal and provincial governments for listening to our concerns about how to make the programs more reflective of the many different types of strategies producers have had to use to source critical feed and water resources for their livestock,” said Tyler Fulton, president, Manitoba Beef Producers. “These important additions will better address the wide array of extraordinary costs arising due to the drought and will help mitigate some of the negative financial impact it is having on producers.”

Many producers have obtained feed and maintained their herds through baling extra acres, renting extra pasture, hauling water and other extraordinary measures.

Among the additional extraordinary costs now covered are expenditures related to rentals of additional crop or pasture acres, temporary fencing for supplemental grazing, hauling water, harvesting extra acres or hauling self-produced feed from distant locations.

Eligible animals under the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program include breeding animals of beef and dairy cattle, horses raised for pregnant mare urine, sheep, goats, bison and elk. Producers must support a minimum of 10 animals to qualify for assistance. The program covers feed, feed transportation and related extraordinary expenses incurred between June 1, 2021, and March 15, 2022. The Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program has processed more than 1,200 claims and will accept new claims until a deadline of April 15.

The governments of Canada and Manitoba will continue to work in collaboration to support farmers during this challenging period to ensure they have access to the necessary resources to maintain competitiveness.

The Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program complements two other AgriRecovery programs offered to producers. The Herd Management Drought Assistance program helps producers replace breeding animals culled due to drought. The Livestock Transportation program offers assistance to producers facing extraordinary costs to transport breeding animals of beef cattle, sheep and goats to alternate locations to feed, up to 1,000 kilometres. Both programs are part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership with funding shared on a 60-40 federal-provincial basis.

Under the Canada-Manitoba AgriRecovery Drought Assistance program, the Government of Canada is investing up to $93 million and the Manitoba government is investing $62 million to cover eligible extraordinary costs, for total program funding of up to $155 million.

For detailed program information, producers can contact their AG-MASC Service Centre or call toll-free at 1-84-GROW-MB-AG (1-844-769-6224). They can also visit: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/canadian-agricultural-partnership/business-risk-management-programs/index.html.

Manitobans can stay up to date on the province’s agricultural programs and services by following Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MBGovAg.

February 2, 2022