It’s been approximately two months since drought relief programs were announced for Prairie livestock producers struggling to find feed supplies to maintain their herds.
RealAgriculture spoke with representatives from the three Prairie provinces to get an update on the number of applications they’ve received and the amounts that have been paid out.
Alberta has paid a total of $130 million to 8,500 applicants, said Edwin Ten Hove, product coordinator for Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), as of October 28.
“We have paid $126 million on a little over 1.3 million cows, $2 million on 20,000 bison and $1.2 million on 65,000 sheep, along with other eligible animals,” says Ten Hove, adding applications are continuing to come in, with the total sitting at over 11,500.
The phase 1 application deadline for Alberta is Nov 1st. Phase 2 applications will be available in early Jan ’22, with an application deadline of Jan 31, 2022.
The province has committed $136 million, with the federal government contributing $204 million, for a total of $340 million for AgriRecovery drought relief in Alberta.
Saskatchewan has received 7,457 applications as of October 25, said Jamie Shanks, communications officer for the Government of Saskatchewan. Of these applicants, 4,598 have been paid.
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) did not disclose the total amount that’s been paid out, but provided the following breakdown of payments:
- Payments $0-$20,000: 3,529
- Payments $20,000-$100,000: 1,044
- Payments $100,000+: 25
Saskatchewan has committed $119 million for the initiative, in a 60/40 cost share with the federal government contributing another $178 million, for a $297 million AgriRecovery drought program.
Ralph Eichler, Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development, told RealAgriculture there has been a total of $1.67 million in claims paid in his province, as of October 22.
“Payments from programs under the AgriRecovery framework have been issued, and continue to be processed. To date, we have approved $1.67 million from 118 claims for Drought Assistance. We remain committed to processing applications as quickly as possible,” said Eichler, in a statement.
Additionally, the province of Manitoba is working with the federal government and industry on designing a cow herd rebuilding program under the AgriRecovery framework.
The province has committed $62 million, while the federal government is providing up to $93 million, for total AgriRecovery drought support of around $155 million in Manitoba.
AgriRecovery for crop sector? Unlikely
None of the provinces appear to be considering ad hoc AgriRecovery drought-relief programs for the crop sector, pointing producers to existing business risk management programs, including crop insurance, AgriStability, and AgriInvest.