Dry Ont., Que. farms needing feed get AgriRecovery

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Livestock producers in parched regions of Ontario and Quebec will get AgriRecovery funding to help cover the costs of hauling feed to their animals or vice-versa.

The federal and Ontario government on Friday announced a $2.4 million AgriRecovery budget for what’s dubbed the Ontario Forage and Livestock Transportation Assistance Initiative.

For producers in designated drought areas, the program will provide up to 14 cents per tonne, per kilometre to ship in forage and feed, or up to 7.5 cents/km per animal to move livestock to feed.

Affected Ontario producers can contact Agricorp, the provincial farm funding agency, for more information.

Governments "responded quickly this summer to support livestock producers through advanced insurance payments and support for Hay East 2012. Now AgriRecovery completes the response," provincial Agriculture Minister Ted McMeekin said in a release.

This AgriRecovery program will be "in addition" to support governments have already provided through the HayEast initiative to help with the costs of transporting donated hay from Western Canada.

"Not co-operated"

Drought conditions during the summer "significantly reduced" forage yields and damaged pastures for livestock producers in parts of Ontario and Quebec, the federal government said.

The same AgriRecovery program, worth up to $2.15 million, was announced Dec. 6 for livestock and dairy producers in the Gatineau, Pontiac and Temiscamingue regions of Quebec.

An affected producer can contact the Quebec agriculture, food and fisheries ministry’s regional service centre in his or her area for more information.

"Quebec livestock producers have worked hard to produce quality forage to sustain their herds until they can be returned to pastures next spring; however, Mother Nature has not co-operated," federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in the Quebec announcement last week.

AgriRecovery is the disaster recovery arm of the business risk management funding suite in the Growing Forward ag policy funding framework. The federal and provincial governments also have also recommended that affected farmers make "full use" of existing programs such as AgriInsurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest to help mitigate income and production losses.

The federal government is also providing tax deferrals to eligible producers in designated drought areas on income tax owing from drought-induced sale of their breeding livestock.

Related stories:
Dry spots in five provinces up for livestock tax deferrals, Nov. 29, 2012
West marshaling feed for Hay East program, Sept. 15, 2012
No ad hoc aid for Ontario producers: Ritz, Aug. 1, 2012