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Saskatchewan announces $119 million for livestock producers impacted by drought

With the ongoing drought in Saskatchewan impacting many agriculture producers, the province has pledged $119 million towards impacted cattle owners through the AgriRecovery program.

Agriculture Minister David Marit announced the funding Tuesday, with the program providing a per head payment to help maintain breeding stock and pay for extraordinary costs in feed or water, among other costs. The funding will also be available to other livestock producers as well.

Marit says the funding will provide swift, immediate relief to affected producers, which they can then chose to use how they need. The amount-per-head will be finalized pending the approval of a provincial-federal agreement.

As AgriRecovery is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreement, the funding is shared on a 60-40 federal-provincial basis, and Saskatchewan is requesting an additional $178 million for a total program of $297 million towards agriculture relief.

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With full federal participation, the province says the funding would amount out to $200 per head to cattle producers. A portion will be provided as an immediate per head payment and the remaining amount issued later in the fiscal year based on year-end herd numbers.

The province plans to issue an initial payment of $100 per breeding female with the remainder being available when the agreement is finalized and after a confirmation the breeding herd is retained.

The program will be delivered by the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation, and details to apply will be announced in the coming days.

Ministry of Agriculture says this adds on to additional supports

Agriculture Minister David Marit is encouraging producers to utilize additional supports announced for producers, and also help each other out when possible.

He notes that across the province there is a need for feed and straw this winter and, if someone has excess animal feed, many websites and social media groups can connect them with livestock producers who are in need.

Other existing supports are bumped up maximum funding for Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program for dugouts, wells and pipelines for agricultural use, from $50,000 to $150,000 and an increase to the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.

Saskatchewan also introduced changes to the Crop Insurance Program to divert low-yielding crops to feed use.

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