Funding Initiative a Good Start

Calgary, AB – The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) welcomes today’s timely announcement of $448 million in funding assistance for producers affected by extreme wet conditions on the Prairies.

The AgriRecovery assistance, announced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, will help producers dealing with excess moisture and flooding to better manage their situation.

The assistance will help producers restore damagedcropland and help to address the costs of feeding their breeding herd. Through Growing Forward, Saskatchewan will receive a Feedlot Assistance Program forimprovements to the clay base, ensuring feedlots can continue to operate in an environmentally responsible manner.

CCA Vice-President Martin Unrau said the assistance is needed as producers continue to be impacted by the extraordinary wet conditions and unprecedented flooding experienced across the Prairies. The CCA continues to call for an improved disaster response program and Unrau said this assistance is a good start.

“This initiative will bring some relief to producers who are dealing with a range of issues as a result of the flooding and wet conditions,” Unrau said.

The CCA urges governments to continue working together toward a solution for other regions where extreme flooding is causing challenges to future feeding capacity. The Saskatchewan program can serve as a template.

Announced by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, the AgriRecovery assistance will provide support of $30 per eligible acre for crop land that could not be seeded as of June 20, 2011, and crop land that was seeded but then flooded out on or before July 31, 2011.

Livestock producers can also apply for financial assistance to help with the costs of feeding their breeding herd and transporting feed or livestock. Specific program details will be provided by each province.

The Saskatchewan Feedlot program will permit improvements to the clay base of up to $250,000.

“This assistance, along with the expanded eligibility list for tax deferrals in Manitoba and Saskatchewan announced earlier this week, is appreciated,” Unrau said. “It comes at a time when producers need it most and will allow them to make informed decisions well before the winter feeding season.”

Minister Ritz on Tuesday announced an expanded list of areas in Manitoba and Saskatchewan that would be eligible for tax deferrals. The tax deferral allows eligible producers in designated areas to defer income tax on the sale of breeding livestock for one year, to help replenish breeding stock in the following year.