Manitoba expands eligibility for drought assistance program
February 8, 2022 by Bree Rody
The governments of Canada and Manitoba have expanded the eligibility of expenses under the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program. Last week, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson announced the addition of extraordinary expenses producers incurred in accessing feed, water and pasture as part of the program to address the challenges faced throughout the drought in 2021.
“Manitoba producers care deeply about their livestock and these programs offer a flexible and responsive approach that will help them recover from the drought and plan for the 2022 growing season,” said Johnson in a statement. “Since the program was introduced in August, industry stakeholders have told us that the needs of producers had changed. In response, we recognized that producers need additional help with other extraordinary expenses to recover from the drought and today’s announcement addresses that expressed need.”
Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program was established to help producers purchase and test feed for livestock to maintain their breeding herds, including through the transport of purchased feed from distant locations.
“Manitoba Beef Producers thanks the federal and provincial governments for listening to our concerns about how to make the programs more reflective of the many different types of strategies producers have had to use to source critical feed and water resources for their livestock,” said Tyler Fulton, president, Manitoba Beef Producers. “These important additions will better address the wide array of extraordinary costs arising due to the drought and will help mitigate some of the negative financial impact it is having on producers.”
Among the additional extraordinary costs now covered are expenditures related to rentals of additional crop or pasture acres, temporary fencing for supplemental grazing, hauling water, harvesting extra acres or hauling self-produced feed from distant locations.
Eligible animals under the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program include breeding animals of beef and dairy cattle, horses raised for pregnant mare urine, sheep, goats, bison and elk. Producers must support a minimum of 10 animals to qualify for assistance. The program covers feed, feed transportation and related extraordinary expenses incurred between June 1, 2021, and March 15, 2022. The Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program has processed more than 1,200 claims and will accept new claims until a deadline of April 15.