Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 29, 2005 18:34 ET

AAFC: Cattle Producers to Receive More Than $300 Million in Cash Flow Assistance as Sector Strategy Continues


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD CANADA

MARCH 29, 2005 - 18:34 ET

AAFC: Cattle Producers to Receive More Than $300
Million in Cash Flow Assistance as Sector Strategy
Continues

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2005) - Canada's cattle
and beef producers will receive more than $300 million, including $14
million for the beef and dairy genetics sector, to help them deal with
continuing cash flow pressures and to continue to implement a strategy
to reshape the sector and reduce its dependence on live cattle exports,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Andy Mitchell and Finance Minister
Ralph Goodale announced today.

The funding will be delivered through the newly announced $1 billion
Farm Income Payment Program.

Although benefits are being seen in the cattle and beef sector as a
result of the launch of the Government of Canada's Repositioning the
Livestock Industry Strategy last September, Minister Mitchell said the
continued closure of many borders to Canadian cattle and other ruminants
is severely hurting producers.

"This has been a long, frustrating and difficult time for our cattle
producers," said Minister Mitchell. "The funding announced today will
help address the immediate issue of cash flow in the sector and allow us
to continue to accelerate the repositioning strategy to get this
industry back on its feet again."

"The Government of Canada is continuing to work hard with provinces and
the industry to reposition this major sector and to see more value-added
dollars staying here," said Minster of Finance Ralph Goodale. "We will
continue to look at ideas and options for creating this business
environment, including further measures to increase slaughter capacity,
extend the national identification program, expand market development
and broaden animal health programming."

"Maintaining cash flow is critical for livestock and ruminant sectors as
we wait for the re-opening of the American border and as we work with
governments to reposition our sectors to recover from the current crisis
and build a strong and more resilient industry for the future," said
Canadian Cattlemen's Association President Stan Eby.

The Farm Income Payment Program will begin delivering the assistance in
April.



In addition to the Farm Income Program, the following initiatives are
being undertaken:

- a $50 million federal contribution to the Canadian Cattlemen's
Association Beef Legacy Fund to launch an aggressive marketing
campaign;
- the continuation of the current fed and feeder set-aside
programs;
- livestock producers who have deposited beyond the one third
required will be able to withdraw from their CAIS accounts.
- the Government of Canada is currently conducting extensive
consultations with the livestock industry, developing additional
initiatives in the areas of domestic slaughter capacity,
international marketing, efforts to manage older animals and
market stabilization initiatives.


Cattle and ruminant producers will be eligible for assistance under the
general payment of $841.5 million for all eligible Canadian producers.
Dairy and poultry farms are also eligible for their non-supply-managed
sales.

Cattle producers will also be eligible for a direct payment of up to $19
per head on cattle in inventory as of December 23, 2003. This includes
dairy heifers, except for mature bulls and cows (cows that have calved
and intact bulls older than one year).

This component of the payment is open to all farming operations with
cattle, including feedlots, backgrounding and cow-calf operations.

Producers who participated in last year's Transitional Industry Support
Program will automatically receive payments. There is no need for these
producers to apply, as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has the
necessary historical data required to calculate payments.

For the general payment, producers who did not participate in the
Transitional Industry Support Program and reported farming income for
2002 can apply by completing an application form reporting their
eligible net sales for 2002. For the direct payment, these producers
will need to have held eligible animals on December 23, 2003, and
reported farming income for 2003.

A guide and application form will be available shortly on Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada's website at www.agr.gc.ca, For more information,
call 1-866-367-8506.

Since BSE was discovered in Canada in 2003, federal, provincial and
territorial governments have provided more than $2.6 billion in
assistance to the cattle and ruminant sector.

For more information on the Farm Income Payment Program, visit
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada's Web site at www.agr.gc.ca or call
1-866-367-8506.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Minister Mitchell's Office
    Elizabeth Whiting
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972
    (866) 345-7972 Toll-free