AgriRecovery offered for B.C. wildfire costs


British Columbia ranchers and farmers who lost pasture or cropland or had to move livestock out of the path of wildfires this year may be eligible for AgriRecovery funding.

The federal and B.C. governments on Thursday announced a new AgriRecovery program worth up to $5 million to help defray “extraordinary costs incurred” due to wildfires in 2018.

Fires in the province in 2018 over 32,000 acres of land, the governments said, but while the total area burned beat the 2017 record, fewer producers reported damages this year, due to the locations of the fires.

The 2018 AgriRecovery plan will, however, provide the same coverage as in 2017, the governments said.

The program, dubbed the 2018 Canada-British Columbia Wildfires Recovery Initiative, is expected to help cover costs related to “ensuring animal health and safety.”

Other costs that may be covered include feed, shelter and transportation costs for livestock, and costs to “re-establish” perennial crop and pasture production on land damaged by fire.

Other examples of eligible costs include fencing and irrigation equipment repair, veterinary costs, replacement of bees and hives lost to fire, and rentals of “specialized facilities.”

Application forms are available online. Completed applications must be received by Jan. 31, 2019, the governments said.

“B.C. ranchers and farmers suffered losses in this summer’s wildfires that could threaten their operations’ viability, but we’re not going to let that happen,” Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said Thursday in a release.

“The support we’re providing will help them recover and recuperate from those expenses and help them get back into production so that the can do what they love and that’s producing food for British Columbians.”

AgriRecovery is the disaster relief framework within the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s business risk management suite, under which affected jurisdictions set up joint initiatives to provide assistance beyond what’s available through existing BRM programs.

AgriRecovery programs are meant to cover “extraordinary” costs which are necessary to mitigate impacts of a disaster, and/or to resume farming operations as quickly as possible following a disaster. They don’t cover production or revenue declines, which are addressed through programs such as AgriInsurance or AgriStability. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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