Waterlogged Prairie Growers To Get $30-Per-Acre Aid

Rain-soaked crop producers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta can expect payments of $30 per acre for land that either couldn’t be seeded or that was seeded then drowned this year.

The federal and three Prairie provincial governments on Aug. 4 announced about $448 million for an AgriRecovery program, in part to compensate growers on their eligible soaked acres.

The program will also include funding for eligible livestock producers in drowned-out areas of the Prairies to help cover costs such as renting viable pasture, or moving feed to livestock or livestock to feed.

The new AgriRecovery program will put up $30 per eligible acre for cropland that couldn’t be seeded as of June 20, and for eligible cropland that was seeded but then flooded out on or before July 31.

In Alberta, Agriculture Financial Services (AFSC) is administering the 2011 Canada-Alberta Excess Moisture Initiative II (CAEMI II). AFSC says details for a pasture component of CAEMI II are being finalized and will be released when available. A separate application relating to this component will be posted on its website ( www.afsc.ca) at that time.

All affected producers must submit a CAEMI II application form to AFSC to participate in the program on or before the September 30, 2011 deadline. Forms will be mailed to producers receiving a 2011 Unseeded Acreage Benefit under AgriInsurance, however producers do not need to be participants under AgriInsurance or AgriStability to receive a CAEMI II benefit. Application forms are also available on the AFSC website and completed ones can be dropped off at any AFSC district office or faxed to 403-782-8348.

Feedlot program praised

In a release, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association hailed Saskatchewan’s plans to put some of the AgriRecovery funds toward a feedlot assistance program.

That portion of Saskatchewan’s funds is to go toward improvements to feedlots’ clay bases, “ensuring feedlots can continue to operate in an environmentally responsible manner,” the CCA said.

The Saskatchewan program allows for eligible intensive livestock operations to get a 75 per cent rebate on the costs of repairing or replacing pens and/or manure storage systems damaged by excess moisture in 2010 or 2011, up to $250,000 per applicant.

The overall Saskatchewan program could serve as a “template” for other governments and regions in Canada for programming “where extreme flooding is causing challenges to future feeding capacity,” the CCA said.

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