Manitoba livestock producers will have access to financial aid for feed costs, feed transport and animal transport costs, provincial agriculture minister Ralph Eichler announced the morning of August 31.
“This investment is among the highest in the AgriRecovery assistance of our livestock and forage sectors in Manitoba history,” Eichler said.
For those who have or will be forced to sell breeding stock, a herd rebuilding program is in the works.
“We are working with the federal government on a program that will help you get your cows back into your herd,” said Eichler. “This program is still under development.”
In total, this means $155 million in provincial and federal funds to help the livestock sector.
Aid is split into two programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program will help farmers buy and test feed and to haul it from distant locations.
The program covers feed purchases between June 1, 2021 and March 15, 2022. Producers must have a minimum of 10 animals to qualify. According to a provincial news release, assistance is available for hauling feed up to a maximum of 600 kilometres one way, and must have been delivered from a supplier at least 40 kilometres away.
The Livestock Transportation program offers help for producers hauling breeding animals of beef cattle, sheep and goats to alternate locations to feed. This doesn’t cover bringing animals to market.
The province did not specify what each producer could expect in financial help. Producers should speak to their local MARD rep or visit the MARD website for more information.
These programs will help producers make better-informed decisions on what to do next, Manitoba Beef Producers president Tyler Fulton told media.
“We have received feedback from individual producers that say ‘we don’t know what makes the most sense because we’re not sure how much money we have to be purchasing,’” said Fulton. “With this program it will provide some of that certainty.”
He added he thinks this program will help maintain “as large of a breeding herd as we can with the feedstocks that we have.”
Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) vice president Jill Verwey also spoke to media and thanked the province for supporting livestock producers.
“KAP appreciates the cooperation and commitment of farm organizations and all levels of government to address the challenges facing our producers across Manitoba,” she said. “We continue to meet as needs arise.”
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