Waterlogged Manitoba cattle producers need excess moisture disaster assistance as much as grain farmers, according to the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association (MCPA).
“We have producers in disastrous situations, yet there has been no assistance or relief package forthcoming, such has been extended to the grain industry,” MCPA president Major Jay Fox said in a news release Monday.
The MCPA wants a per-head payment for breeding and feeder stock to help offset the challenges of loss of pasture and hay land, a per-acre payment for the re-establishment of damaged forage stands and a Feed Freight Assistance Program to help offset the extra cost of hauling in feed from long distances.
District 10 MCPA director, Theresa Zuk said many producers in her area are “outraged” by the Manitoba government’s unwillingness to help.
“Leaving our producers waiting shows just how little the government understands about the troubles facing our producers in this province,” she said.
Agriculture Minister Stan Struthers has said Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives’ staff are continuing to monitor the livestock feed situation.
An emailed comment from his office Monday said haying is underway across the province and reports indicate forage and grazing conditions are improving.
“However, substantial portions of the Interlake and Westlake areas are facing significant flooding of pasture and hay lands, and localized feed shortages may occur. Reports also indicate substantial uptake in insurance for greenfeed.”
The memo noted farmers can use the Manitoba Hay Listing Service (available at http://web2.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/hay search/) to find a listing of available hay and straw across the province.