Eligible livestock producers in parts of Manitoba excessively soaked during the growing season will get federal/provincial backing to buy and haul feed and forage.
The federal and provincial governments on Wednesday announced AgriRecovery funding for what they call the 2014 Canada-Manitoba Forage Shortfall and Transportation Assistance Initiative.
The program will offer support worth up to 16 cents per tonne per loaded kilometre to haul forage or feed, and up to eight cents per head per loaded kilometre to move breeding cattle and unweaned calves to feed sources.
The program will also offer forage purchase assistance worth up to $50 per tonne for producers in the Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis regions.
Payments are to be calculated “based on individual need,” the governments said in their release. Producers using the program will also have to provide receipts to ensure they’ve incurred eligible costs, the governments added.
Program details and application forms are expected to be available later this week at provincial agriculture department’s GO offices and on the department’s website.
The governments cited “extreme weather conditions” in May and June that led to “significant forage shortages” for livestock in Manitoba. [Related story]
Furthermore, the governments said, downstream flows of excess moisture led to “significant flooding” on lands around Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipegosis regions, affecting what they estimated to be 75,000 acres of hayland and winter feed production for about 330 farms.
Cattle producer Curtis McRae, a vice-president with Manitoba farm group Keystone Agricultural Producers, said the program is welcome, noting cattle producers today are in a market position to expand their herds, but that “simply wasn’t going to be a reality because a lack of feed would have forced them to sell.”
The trucking support, he said in a separate KAP release, “will help producers move feed to cattle or cattle to feed, and the forage assistance will help those along Lake Manitoba purchase feed — and that means they can hold onto their cattle.”
Manitoba Beef Producers president Heinz Reimer agreed, saying in a separate release that “for a number of producers, today’s announcement could be the difference between them staying in business or dispersing their herd.”
KAP, however, also noted Wednesday the AgriRecovery funding announcement includes “absolutely nothing” for flooded crop producers in the province.
“I toured the southwest region last summer and met crop producers who were anticipating they would be forced to leave the industry because of the ongoing wet cycle that has created devastation,” KAP vice-president Dan Mazier said in the same release.
Excess moisture insurance has “failed” to compensate crop producers for their crop losses because a five per cent deductible is added on cumulatively every time a claim is made, Mazier said.
In this ongoing wet weather pattern, he said, a farmer can reach a deductible of 30 per cent as a result of repeat claims.
Add to that the “reduced government funding” for other ag risk management programs, KAP said, and crop producers will not see the same recovery assistance this year as they did after the 2011 flood, when crop growers saw $108 million in AgriRecovery funding.
KAP said it will still press for 100 per cent compensation for farmers on losses incurred from “artificial” flooding or the operation of a water control structure. MBP also said it would continue to lobby for a “permanent solution to the water‐related problems a number of our members continue to face.”
KAP said it also plans to continue to push for improvements to farm business risk management programs to make them “more responsive to farm losses.” — AGCanada.com Network