The federal government announced funding up to $500 million to address extraordinary costs faced by producers due to drought and wildfires across western Canada and Ontario.
The federal government is contributing to the 60-40 cost-sharing with western provinces in the AgriRecovery program.
Alberta committed $136 million into the AgriRecovery program on Aug. 6, asking the federal government for $204 million for a total of $340 million of relief coming to producers affected by the drought.
“AgriRecovery is a federal-provincial-territorial disaster relief framework intended to work together with the business risk management programs to help agricultural producers recover from natural disasters,” said the federal release.
Many local producers feel the effects of the drought as hay prices increase. It also becomes harder to find, resulting in some producers selling their herds early as they cannot secure feed.
The province said that if they receive the federal funds, the program will provide an immediate payment of $94 per head to cover the costs of feed and water access to breeding females.
“The cost to keep a cow right now could be $700 over the winter,” said Yancy Crosier, chief business development officer at Vold, Jones & Vold Auction Co. in Beaverlodge.
Producers can apply for the interim payments under AgriStability to help with immediate challenges. The interim benefit payment was increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent to ensure producers can access a greater portion of the benefit early to meet their urgent needs.
AgriStability is one of the business risk management to help producers against significant declines in farming income for production loss, increased costs and market conditions.
Additionally, there will be a Livestock Tax Deferral for drought regions to help offset the resulting revenues with the costs to replace the herd.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News