Rain-Battered Farmers To Get $30 Per Acre

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In what’s billed as “the largest and fastest AgriRecovery relief package to date,” Prairie crop producers will get $30 for each acre flooded in major rainstorms this spring and summer.

The federal, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta governments on July 8 pledged to cost-share a $450 million AgriRecovery package to help farmers take “measures to protect, rehabilitate and manage affected cropland.”

“This payment will certainly help address the costs of maintaining these lands so producers can have a better year in 2011,” Alberta Ag Minister Jack Hayden said in a release.

The program will cover both unseeded land and land that had been seeded and then flooded.

The AgriRecovery arm of the federal/ provincial Growing Forward farm policy framework is meant to address gaps not covered by existing programs and provide a quicker government response to farm-related disasters.

The federal government will foot 60 per cent of the package’s budget, with the provinces providing 40 per cent. The bulk of the funds will go to Saskatchewan, which will receive a total of $360 million. The Manitoba package will be worth $62 million, with the remaining $38 million Albertabound.

In a Call of the Land interview July 9, Hayden said application forms should be available in one to two weeks.

The funding announcement after a regularly scheduled meeting of the federal and provincial agriculture ministers in Saskatoon, and a visit to the rain-soaked Yorkton area in southeastern Saskatchewan by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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