Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 05, 2009 16:48 ET

Governments Deliver Urgent Help for Flooded Livestock Producers

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - March 5, 2009) - The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are supporting livestock producers in flood areas by delivering urgent funding to buy feed, supporting forage crop re-seeding, and allowing tax deferrals. This announcement was made today by Gerry Ritz, Federal Agriculture Minister, and Rosann Wowchuk, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Initiatives.

"Many Manitoba livestock producers are still working hard to get back on their feet after the flooding in 2008 and this Government is standing with them as they rebuild," said Minister Ritz. "This announcement will make sure producers can buy feed for their livestock, re-seed their forage crops, and we are giving them the breathing room on their tax bills to help rebuild their herds."

"These initiatives will ensure Manitoba producers can weather this storm and get back to business," said Minister Vic Toews, who serves as Treasury Board President and Minister responsible for Manitoba. "This Government listens to producers, not only in Manitoba but across the country, and we are proud to work with them to keep Canadian agriculture strong."

"Today's announcement re-affirms our government's commitment to Manitoba livestock producers who were severely impacted by heavy rains last year," said Minister Wowchuk. "This program builds on the previous support offered through the Manitoba Forage Assistance Program by providing financial assistance to producers to help offset some of the costs associated with replacing lost feed and re-establishing a forage hay crop on land damaged by excess rain last summer."

"This initiative is something we've been working closely with the federal and provincial governments to deliver since the beginning," said Joe Bouchard, President of the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association. "This announcement will give Interlake and Westlake producers the ability to sustain and rebuild their operations after the devastating 2008 excess rainfall. The Ministers' announcement demonstrates the co-operation between the MCPA, CCA and both levels of government dealing with such important issues in activating disaster programs. This will provide a template for future disasters experienced by the agriculture industry under the AgriRecovery pillar of Growing Forward."

As a result of flooding in the Interlake and Westlake areas of Manitoba, hay, forage and pasture fields were drowned out, making it difficult for producers to obtain feed for their livestock and to re-establish feed crops.

The Government of Canada is offering tax deferrals to allow eligible producers in designated areas to defer a portion of the income from the sale of breeding livestock for one year as they replenish breeding stock in the following year. This change gives producers across Canada access to tax deferrals for flooding that match the tax deferrals they have traditionally had access to for drought.

"This Government supports producers when they have to make tough business decisions," said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "When floods strike, producers often have to sell off some of their breeding stock. By deferring the taxes on those sales, we are making sure producers have the resources they need to buy breeding stock after the flooding is over."

The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are providing funding on a 60-40 basis to deliver the following initiatives:

- Manitoba Forage Restoration Program - Producers can apply for payments of up to $40 per acre to re-establish forage crops, forage seed fields and pasture affected by flooding in the fall of 2008.

- Manitoba Livestock Feed Assistance Program - Cattle producers can receive a payment of $70 per head for breeding stock to help cover the cost of feed. Other breeding stock are also eligible and per-head payments will vary based on the type of animal.

The assistance announced today is in addition to federal/provincial assistance provided through the Manitoba Forage Assistance Program announced in the fall of 2008, which provides producers with funds to offset a portion of the costs of transporting feed to animals or animals to feed.

BACKGROUNDER

ASSISTANCE FOR MANITOBA LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS

The assistance package announced by the federal government and the province of Manitoba includes programs to address the cost of feed and forage restoration, as well as an extension of the federal tax deferral program to producers affected by flooding or excess moisture.

Feed and Forage Restoration

Assistance is cost-shared by the federal and provincial governments on a 60/40 basis and includes two programs:

Manitoba Forage Restoration Program

- Producers can apply for payments of up to $40 per acre to re-establish forage crops, forage seed fields and pasture affected by flooding in the fall of 2008.

Manitoba Livestock Feed Assistance Program

- Cattle producers can receive a payment of $70 per head for breeding stock to help address the cost of purchasing feed. Other breeding ruminants are also eligible and the per head payment will vary based on the type of animal being fed.

Funding is made available under AgriRecovery, which allows governments to respond quickly when disaster strikes a region and existing programs cannot fully address the situation.

Program details and application forms will soon be available through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) and on the provincial web site.

Tax Deferral

The federal tax deferral program, currently available to drought regions, has been extended to now include livestock producers in Manitoba affected by flooding or excessive moisture in 2008.

Producers from 14 Rural Municipalities in Manitoba who were forced to sell all or part of their herd due to excessive moisture will be eligible for a one-year tax deferral on 2008 income from these sales.

Producers who reduced their breeding herds by at least 15 per cent are eligible. Thirty per cent of income from net sales can be deferred if the herd has been reduced by at least 15 per cent, but less than 30 per cent. Where the herd has been reduced by 30 per cent or more, 90 per cent of income from net sales can be deferred.

The tax deferral allows eligible producers in designated areas to defer a portion of the income from the sale of breeding livestock for one year to help replenish breeding stock in the following year.

Eligible producers will be able to request this deferral when filing their 2008 income tax returns. Livestock producers are advised to contact their local Canada Revenue Agency Tax Services Office for details on the income tax provisions.

The list of designated areas in Manitoba for 2008 is as follows: St.Laurent, Coldwell, Eriksdale, Grahamdale, Fisher, Bifrost, Siglunes, Armstrong, Gimli, Alonsa, Mossey River, Ethelbert, Mountain South and Lawrence. The following adjacent First Nations are also eligible: Peguis, Fisher River, Lake Manitoba, Ebb and Flow, Sandy Bay, Little Saskatchewan, Lake St. Martin, Dauphin River, Kinonjeoshtegon, O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi, Skownan and Pinaymootang.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059