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Government increases funding to $500 million for drought-affected producers


August 17, 2021
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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On Aug. 16, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced the Government of Canada has increased total AgriRecovery funding to up to $500 million to address extraordinary costs faced by producers due to drought and wildfires. This includes the initial funding of $100 million announced on Aug. 6.

Given the extraordinary circumstances that farmers in Western Canada and parts of Ontario are facing, this increased funding ensures the federal government is ready to contribute to eligible provincial AgriRecovery costs on the 60-40 cost-shared basis outlined under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The Government of Canada and the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario continue to work with the utmost urgency to complete joint assessments of the disaster and launch support programs. This will include direct assistance to affected livestock and agricultural producers, and help them with added costs of obtaining livestock feed, transportation and water.

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Producers can also apply for interim payments under AgriStability to help cope with immediate financial challenges. The federal government and the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have agreed to increase the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, so producers can access a greater portion of their benefit early to meet their urgent needs. British Columbia and Manitoba have also opened up late participation in AgriStability to farmers who did not register in 2021 so they can benefit from this important income support.

In addition to this support, the Government of Canada announced designations for Livestock Tax Deferral on July 22 and Aug. 6 for prescribed drought regions in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. This will allow beef producers who are forced to sell a significant amount of their breeding herd due to drought conditions to offset the resulting revenues with the costs to replace the herd.