Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of Alberta

Government of Alberta

February 21, 2011 16:45 ET

Governments Help Peace Region Livestock Producers Access Feed

GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2011) - Relief is on the way for livestock producers facing severe feed shortages in Alberta's Peace Region, announced today by the federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Jack Hayden. The Governments of Canada and Alberta will provide assistance through AgriRecovery to help livestock producers with transportation costs to access feed for their breeding herds.

"Over the years, livestock producers in the Peace Region have had to make difficult business decisions to cope with feed shortages and several years of drought is making it particularly tough for farm operations," said Minister Ritz. "Our Governments have worked closely together to provide producers with the immediate cash flow necessary to help cover some of the extra costs associated with accessing feed for their animals."

The 2010 Canada-Alberta Feed Transportation Assistance Initiative will provide emergency assistance to affected producers to cover a portion of the extraordinary costs of transporting forage and feed to their breeding herds, or alternatively, to transport their breeding herds to areas with a more abundant feed supply.

"The continued dry conditions that Peace Region producers have had to deal with this year have impacted the quality and quantity of feed and the livestock industry in the area. This has resulted in many producers having to deal with the added expense of bringing in feed or moving their animals to other pastures," said Jack Hayden, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. "I am pleased that we can provide this support to producers facing this difficult situation."

Producers who must incur the additional costs to transport feed to their livestock will be eligible to receive transportation assistance of up to $0.22 per tonne or up to $0.10 per head per loaded mile. Producers who must transport feed or breeding animals a distance up to 685 kilometers are eligible for a payment (with a minimum of 25 kilometers).

"Livestock producers in the Peace Country make a significant contribution to the economy of Alberta and all of Canada," added Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River. "Our Governments will continue to work together to respond in difficult times to ensure producers continue to bring high quality food to kitchen tables in Canada and around the world."

Producers have seen first-hand the effects of more than a decade of unusually dry conditions in the Peace area," said Hector Goudreau, Minister of Municipal Affairs and MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace. "This support will help to ease some of the financial pressure on livestock producers in areas that have been hardest hit by the dry conditions."

Funding for this initiative has been made available under AgriRecovery, which allows governments to respond when disaster strikes a region. Other programs also available to assist producers include AgriInsurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest. These programs are the main source of assistance to help producers deal with the financial impacts resulting from these types of events. Producers are encouraged to make full use of these programs to help deal with the costs and losses they may experience due to events like drought and excess moisture.

In addition to providing tax deferrals to eligible producers in designated areas on the sale of breeding livestock, the Government of Canada also provided cattle and hog producers extra time to repay cash advances under the Advance Payment Program (APP). For more information on these and other programs to assist farmers dealing with excess moisture or drought, see the AAFC Drought Watch site at www.agr.gc.ca/drought.

For program details and information on how to apply, producers are encouraged to contact their local Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) office, call 1-877-899-AFSC (2372) or visit www.AFSC.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

The Canada-Alberta Feed Transportation Assistance Initiative (CAFTAI)

The federal and provincial governments have agreed to support an AgriRecovery response to help breeding livestock producers deal with forage shortages in the Peace Region.

Who is eligible for the Canada-Alberta Feed Transportation Assistance Initiative?

The Canada-Alberta Feed Transportation Assistance Initiative (CAFTAI) will provide financial assistance to breeding livestock producers who are responsible for the cost to transport additional feed to their livestock or have to transport livestock to alternative locations for feeding or grazing to cope with forage production shortages in 2010 caused by drought.

How were the eligible areas determined?

The eligible areas were determined in consultation with the province of Alberta. Information used to determine drought impact and severity included various sources of data such as precipitation levels, soil moisture levels, 2010 forage yields, estimated breeding herd sizes, and determined feed shortages. 

What areas are eligible for CAFTAI?

In Alberta, the eligible Counties and Municipal Districts are:

M.D of Big Lakes Grande Prairie County No.1
Birch Hills County M.D Of Greenview No. 16
Clear Hills County M.D of Smoky River No. 130
County of Northern Lights M.D of Spirit River No. 133
Northern Sunrise County M.D of Peace No. 135
Saddle Hills Country M.D of Fairview No. 136

What is the definition of an eligible breeding animal?

Breeding animal means beef cattle, bison, elk, deer, llamas, reindeer, sheep, goats, horses (meat or PMU only) or alpacas that were:

  • Females bred to produce offspring in 2011 or with offspring by side as of January 1, 2011;

  • Male livestock of breeding age as of January 1, 2011 and used in the Eligible Applicant's breeding operation in 2010 or intended to be used in 2011.

How does the payment work?

Payments will be based on the amount of eligible feed for consumption by breeding livestock within eligible areas or number of breeding animals transported from eligible areas, and the distance hauled in excess of normal business practices.

How many eligible animals are there?

It is estimated that there are more than 230,000 breeding animals in the affected areas.

How do livestock producers receive their payment?

AFSC will mail an information package which includes an application form to known producers in the designated areas that may be eligible. This form must be filled out and returned to Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), who is administering the program. There will also be forms available at www.AFSC.ca and at AFSC district offices within the affected area. The deadline to apply is April 29, 2011.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    613-773-1059
    or
    Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development
    Media Line
    780-422-1005