Producers in Saskatchewan hit with dry conditions are getting some relief from the provincial and federal governments.
Both levels of government jointly announced additional program measures and more flexible options for producers to manage their operations.
The Saskatchewan government said many farmers and ranchers are facing challenges and officials said they are closely monitoring moisture, crop and forage conditions.
“Current dry conditions across the province are forcing producers to revisit how they are managing their forage and pastures,” said Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit in a statement.
“Our government stands behind our farmers and understands their need for flexibility in these challenging conditions,” said federal Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau.
“We are pleased to work with our provincial counterparts in Saskatchewan to ensure our hardworking producers have the ability to better manage their operations through dry conditions.”
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Program is extending the deadline for seeding crops for greenfeed from June 30 to July 15.
The government said this will included customers who have not previously endorsed greenfeed on their insurance contract.
Producers will also be able to register a pre-harvest claim if they do not want to carry a crop through to harvest. If a crop is taken to harvest, but has a reduced yield, farmers will be able to file a post-harvest claim, officials said.
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) said the 60-day continuous criteria will be waived for the 2019 grazing season for Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) policyholders who purchased price insurance this spring.
SCIC said staff can be contacted at 1-888-935-0000 to help walk producers through their options.
Saskatchewan Agriculture said additional resources are available to producers through its regional offices.
Two programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership support the development of a secure and sustainable water source for agricultural purposes and help mitigate impacts of drought.
Producers are being encouraged to apply to the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) and the Irrigation Program at a regional office or by contacting 1-866-457-2377.
Crown land lessees with excessive grazing or hay resources can request permission to sub-lease their pasture, graze non-owned cattle on the lease, harvest some or all of the hay on the lease, and sell hay from the lease.
The Ministry of Environment said it has lands that may be available until Sept. 1 through the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund. More information can be found by contacting the fund at 1-844-306-3933 or online.
Producers using these lands will pay the same amount as other Crown land lessees for grazing and will be responsible for managing and monitoring livestock, setting up and maintaining temporary fencing, and any watering requirements that are not already established.
Officials said the Farm Stress Line at 1-800-667-4442 is available around the clock for producers and their families needing support. It is staffed by Mobile Crisis Services Regina, and there is no call display.