Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) is taking action to support livestock producers by releasing the contents of a drought-survival proposal submitted to the provincial and federal governments this week.
“We greatly appreciate the measures Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have implemented―especially, the triggering of AgriRecovery assessments. However, there is no end in sight for these extreme conditions. We need additional,immediateaction to be taken, including an announcement of AgriRecovery programming to ensure that livestock producers are able to make critical, time-sensitive business decisions. We have been closely reviewing existing policy and programs that can be adapted. We have confidence in our government. They listen to understand our problems and welcome actionable solutions,” states SSGA President Kelcy Elford.
“We are encouraging both levels of government to work with grain companies to remove any barriers that are preventing the salvage of feed from forward-contracted crops. We are also recommending that our governments collaborate with the shortline and national railway companies to find affordable transportation for relocating feed, feed grains and by-products to deficit areas in the province. Canada’s livestock and grain sectors are integrated. We’ve always worked shoulder to shoulder. With mutual endurance in mind, we’re calling on grain farmers to make below-average crops and straw available for feed.”
SSGA is calling for the following additional measures to help producers manage through the current disaster while providing opportunities for recovery. Here’s how:
Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program(FRWIP)
Decrease gross farm income eligibility requirement to $10,000;
Fund offsite watering systems without requirement for dugout expansion or riparian protection;
Include power installation for wells, water pumping and water hauling as eligible expenses; and
Provide additional technical support for planning and construction of water projects.
Expedite the regulatory approval process for FRWIP projects;
Pay government portion to contractors, directly;
Provide funding for temporary fencing to enable grazing of unharvestable crops.
Expedite assessment and adjustment on a regional basis;
Ensure grain producers inclusion for borderline yields; and
Adjust guaranteed base price to reflect current market prices.
Financial Management and Cash Flow
Allow producers to make AgriInvest withdrawals tax-free;
Provide AgriStability advance interim payments;
Offer long term low interest loans to cover expenses incurred due to the drought and to help rebuild;
Extend payments on Farm Credit Canada (FCC) COVID loans, Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and Advanced Payments Program (APP) cash advances; and
Work with financial institutions to support agriculture producers during these difficult times.
Elford adds, “With the extreme drought conditions present across the province, we are calling on the federal government to expand the Livestock Tax Deferral Program announced last week to a five-year program to include all classes of cattle and regions of Saskatchewan.”
SSGA looks forward to working with both levels of government to come up with a long-term business risk management strategy for the livestock industry, including options for production insurance.
SSGA is a province-wide member driven advocacy organization representing independent self-reliant cattle producers’ interests for 108 years. The SSGA advocates through education, communication, and research for an economically and environmentally sustainable cattle industry where cattlemen are free to do business–within a free and open market place, free from industry limiting laws and regulation.
For more information contact:
SK Stock Growers Association
(306) 541-5023 |firstname.lastname@example.org