Saskatchewan details aid for livestock producers affected by drought

It has been a stressful year for ranchers across Saskatchewan. Some are at a crossroads of whether they keep at it or back out of the industry altogether.

Details have been released for a government initiative set to provide financial relief by helping offset costs faced by Saskatchewan livestock producers during the 2021 drought.

The provincial government announced on Monday that Saskatchewan’s AgriRecovery program, now known as the 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative, will begin accepting applications from producers on Sept. 1.

“We are here to support livestock producers during this difficult time,” said Agriculture Minister David Marit in a release.

“We have worked efficiently to solidify initiative details and understand producers need financial assistance to help offset costs associated with herd management decisions. We are eager to begin accepting applications for the Initiative on September 1.”

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The program will see payments of up to $200 per head for cattle, including adjustments based on animal unit equivalents for other livestock, according to a statement from the government.

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The initial payment will give producers $100 per breeding female equivalent in inventory as of Aug. 1, 2021.

The government added that secondary payments will be up to $100 per breeding female equivalent in inventory as of Dec. 31, 2021.

Livestock eligible for the program include Canadian-owned female beef and dairy cattle, bison, elk, sheep or goats that are bred or intended to be bred.

According to the government, the number of open replacement females that can be considered eligible livestock is 15 per cent of the total number of bred females.

The $119-million initiative will directly support drought-affected livestock producers under the AgriRecovery program, which falls under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreement with funding shared on a 60 to 40 federal-provincial basis.

More information on the initiative can be accessed at the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation’s website.

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