DUC to expand available Sask. pasture, hayland

Ducks Unlimited Canada plans to “greatly” increase the number of acres it makes available each year in Saskatchewan for haying and grazing, to benefit waterlogged ranchers in that province.

“We are anticipating that some producers will have difficulty accessing their pastures and hay fields this year” and “will provide access to our land wherever appropriate,” Brent Kennedy, manager of provincial operations for DUC, said in a release Thursday announcing the organization’s Flood Relief Forage Program.

“We’ve made similar offers during times of drought, and we know from those experiences that in a time of need access to additional grazing or haying lands can make a difference for livestock producers.”

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The waterfowl habitat conservation agency, which usually offers about 20,000 acres each year for haying and grazing management, “will look at affected areas of the province and will open extra land through the Flood Relief Forage Program wherever possible,” Kennedy said.

Pasture land is expected to be available in June and a second call for hay tenders will go out in July, DUC said.

Tender packages and further information about the program, including lists of available land and parcel descriptions, can be viewed online and downloaded.

Tenders under the relief program will only be accepted from producers who are in need of pasture due to the flood conditions, the organization said, and the highest or any bid may not necessarily be accepted. Successful bidders’ livestock must be removed from DUC lands by Oct. 1.

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