The federal and Manitoba governments are offering AgriRecovery funding to help flooded livestock producers cover feed and transportation costs.
Earlier today, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced the 2014 Canada-Manitoba Forage Shortfall and Transportation Assistance Initiative. It includes the following measures aimed at helping producers with feed requirements for winter:
- Province-wide assistance of up to $0.16 per tonne per loaded kilometre for the transportation of forage/feed and up to $0.08 per head per loaded kilometre for the transportation of breeding livestock and their unweaned calves to feed sources.
- For the Lake Manitoba/Lake Winnipegosis regions, forage purchase assistance of up to
$50 per tonne.
- To ensure payments are targeted to those most affected, payments will be calculated based on individual need and receipts will be required to ensure producers have incurred eligible transportation and feed costs.
“Manitoba farmers in many parts of the province have dealt with unprecedented wet weather and poor growing conditions this year,” said Kostyshyn. “Producers told us what was needed to ensure the health and sustainability of their herd over the winter and this program is a comprehensive response. I know this program has been long-awaited and Premier Selinger and I are pleased we were able to confirm our ongoing support for producers affected by flooding and excess moisture, above and beyond the programs already in place.”
Manitoba Beef Producers spent several months lobbying for a program to cover flood costs, some of which were incurred due to the province’s decision to divert water from the Assiniboine River into Lake Manitoba.
“We’re pleased with the announcement that came out today. We recognize that it’s not covering all the needs of producers, but we have a transportation program now that’s province-wide and a feed program that’s directed to folks that have been impacted by water issues for many years now,” explains MBP’s general manager Melinda German in the above interview.
While welcoming the help for ranchers, Keystone Agricultural Producers — Manitoba’s largest general farm group — said the AgriRecovery program is missing assistance for crop producers affected by flooding.
KAP vice-president Dan Mazier said he doesn’t understand why the two levels of government are not recognizing the situation crop producers in parts of the province are facing.
He noted flooding in cumulative years has resulted in farmers having to pay a deductible of up to 30 percent to receive Excess Moisture Insurance coverage, as a five percent deductible is added every time a claim is made.
“And now, their hopes have been dashed for assistance through an AgriRecovery program,” he said,
KAP continues to lobby for 100-per-cent compensation on losses as a result of artificial flooding or the operation of water-control structures, including the Portage Diversion. It’s also pressing for changes to farm business risk management programs to make them more responsive.