WINNIPEG — Help is on the way for Canadian farmers and ranchers being severely impacted by this year’s drought.
Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has announced a number of actions in Winnipeg following a tour of Manitoba’s Interlake Region to see how extreme weather is creating crop losses, affecting crop quality, and reducing forage and water supplies for livestock.
Bibeau says the government is working closely with the provinces to respond on a rapid basis to the drought situation in Western Canada.
The measures include the early designation of a Livestock Tax Deferral provision for affected regions in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
That will allow beef producers who are forced to sell a significant amount of their breeding herd to offset the resulting revenues with the cost to replace the herd.
Bibeau also announced federal support to all Prairie provinces for adjustments to a cost-shared AgriInsurance program to make drought-damaged crops available for feed.
Bibeau also announced more than $25 million will be split between Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.
It’s part of the government’s plan to conserve up to 300 square kilometres and restore up to 60 square kilometres of wetlands and grasslands.
The plan also ramps up efforts to manage another 180 square kilometres.
The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation says part of its funding will go to improving water quality and supporting wildlife habitats.