Quebec sets up single line for flooded farmers

(Assnat.qc.ca)

Quebec farmers whose operations have been hit by flooding in recent weeks will have a single number to call for provincial support starting Tuesday.

The province’s agriculture ministry (MAPAQ), public security ministry (MSP) and ag lending agency, la Financiere agricole du Quebec (FADQ) on Friday announced a “concerted effort” to manage supports for flood-affected farms.

Affected producers are asked, starting Tuesday (May 23), to call FADQ toll-free at 1-800-749-3646. Where needed, the province said, FADQ will forward cases to MAPAQ and/or MSP for follow-up.

Many communities and rural areas across the province were hit by flooding during April and May, most recently during heavy rainfall across much of central and eastern Canada in early May, leading to evacuations of thousands of properties.

During the most recent floods, farms in the Lanaudiere, Mauricie, Monteregie, Outaouais, Laurentides and Centre-du-Quebec regions have been affected, the province said Friday.

Preliminary assessments suggest about 800 farms have been affected, involving about 24,000 acres.

“We’re in constant contact with the various organizations which, through their services and programs, can help farm operations that have flooded land,” Agriculture Minister Laurent Lessard said Friday in a release.

The province, he said, hopes to simplify the compensation process to allow farm work to restart quickly.

“I’m aware this situation is affecting spring planting, but I want to assure farmers that we are doing everything we can to support them properly and that we are monitoring the situation closely.”

FADQ last week estimated only about three per cent of Quebec’s spring planting was completed as of May 16, down from 64 per cent at the same point last year. — AGCanada.com Network

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