Manitoba announces herd management assistance program
By Manitoba Agriculture
On Nov. 30, the governments of Canada and Manitoba announced a Herd Management Drought Assistance program under the AgriRecovery framework to support producers impacted by drought. The program will help livestock producers offset the costs associated with replacing breeding animals culled due to shortages of winter feed, according to Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food, and Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s minister of agriculture and resource development.
“My heart goes out to Manitoba ranchers, some of whom I visited this past summer, who were forced to send their breeding herds to market, selling genetics developed over generations at a fraction of their worth,” Bibeau said. “Through this program and other initiatives, we are helping farmers bounce back from the drought and build the resiliency needed to be sustainable in the face of climate change.”
“These extraordinary times have brought extraordinary challenges to our province’s livestock producers and having programs to help producers address feed issues and manage their herd size is paramount,” Eichler said. “We all know this has been a tough year, so we remain determined to take the strides necessary to support our producers in any way possible.”
Eligible animals under the Herd Management Drought Assistance program include breeding females of beef cattle, bison, sheep, goats and elk. Producers must be supporting a minimum of 10 animals to qualify for assistance.
“Unfortunately, the drought forced many producers to reduce their breeding inventory due to feed and water challenges, so the herd management program under AgriRecovery will be an important component toward helping to rebuild Manitoba’s beef breeding herd,” said Tyler Fulton, president, Manitoba Beef Producers. “MBP thanks the provincial and federal governments for making this assistance available, as extraordinary costs such as purchasing replacement breeding stock are not directly addressed in existing business risk management programs and this program recognizes the challenge created for producers because of it.”
This program will assist producers who must replace breeding females culled due to drought, helping to return the inventory of breeding females to pre-drought levels. The replacement animals can be purchased or retained from the producer’s existing herds or flocks. Payments are determined by the increase in the inventory of breeding females, with payments capped once inventories are restored to pre-drought levels.
Application is a two-step process which starts with producers submitting their pre-drought and drought-affected inventories of breeding females. Forms for submitting these breeding animal numbers will be available in January 2022. Starting on Dec. 1, 2022, producers will be able to submit information on their breeding animal inventories post-drought. Payments will be issued after the post-drought inventory is submitted.
This announcement is part of the Canada-Manitoba AgriRecovery Drought Assistance, announced in August 2021 to support livestock producers affected by this year’s drought conditions. Under this program, the Government of Canada is investing up to $93 million and the Manitoba government is investing $62 million to cover eligible extraordinary costs, for a total program of up to $155 million.
Herd Management Drought Assistance is the third program developed as part of this investment. AgriRecovery is part of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreement, with funding shared on a 60-40 federal-provincial basis.
For more detailed program information, producers can contact their Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Service Centre, call the department toll-free at 1-84-GROW-MB-AG (1-844-769-6224) or go to:
www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/livestock/agrirecovery-herd-management-assistance.html. Specific tools and resources for managing in dry conditions are available at www.manitoba.ca/agriculture/dry.html.
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