PDAP providing assistance to Saskatchewan grazing land damaged by wildfires

PDAP will be providing assistance to southwestern Saskatchewan grazing land that was damaged by wildfires this fall. Supplied

Saskatchewan’s Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) will be providing financial assistance to grazing lands that were damaged by wildfires.

More than 36,000 hectares of mixed-use farmland was destroyed in the fall when wildfires burned across southwestern Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan dealing with aftermath of wildfires and wind

Some of that was grazing land, which is not insurable.

“Typically PDAP does not provide assistance for wildfire losses, because most fire losses are insurable,” Government Relations Minister Larry Doke said in a press release.

“However, tame and native grazing lands are not insurable. This adjustment will fill that gap and provide Saskatchewan producers with additional peace of mind, and help ensure that operations affected by wildfire can recover sooner.”

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The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) said the news is welcome relief to producers.

“It’s their bale stack for the winter, so they lost their inventory to feed their cattle for this coming winter,” SSGA General Manager Chad MacPherson, said.

“So with this program, the province is helping producers purchase feed to replace the feed that was lost.”

“Today’s announcement is very welcome by the producers impacted. It will help them withstand this loss and be able to replace the feed that was lost in the fires on October 17th,” MacPherson said.

“The drought in southern Saskatchewan has already led to feed shortages,” SSGA president Shane Jahnke said in a statement.

“It will be very expensive to replace the winter feed lost in the wildfires.”

PDAP held consultations with stakeholders to identify some types of grazing lands that may qualify for assistance.

Producers who suffered wildfire damages to “tame and native lands” that are intended for grazing can apply for assistance to provide feed to livestock.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan agricultural groups lobbying for fire insurance for forage crops, pasture land

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Those applying for PDAP must meet all the program’s eligibility requirements.

PDAP is set up to help people, small businesses, agriculture operations, First Nations, non-profit organizations, and communities recover from natural disasters and may help cover the costs of non-insurable essential losses.

–With files from Marney Blunt

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