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APAS calls on federal gov’t for additional drought support

Early designation of the Livestock Tax Deferral provision is a positive step, but APAS says more assistance is needed
cattle photo by ron winter 2020
File photo by Ron Walter

Although the federal government will offer support to producers affected by drought, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) says more assistance is needed.

APAS is pleased with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s announcement of early designation of the Livestock Tax Deferral provision. This will assist cattle producers who have to sell a significant amount of their breeding herd due to lack of feed supply.  

Unfortunately, APAS says the early designation does not include needed enhancements to the program, such as eligibility for yearlings and other classes of cattle, as well as an extension of the deferral period from one to five years. 

APAS is concerned the designated eligibility area excludes 47 per cent of rural municipalities in Saskatchewan.  

“Producers are scrambling to secure feed and water for their livestock,” APAS President Todd Lewis said. “The state of Canada’s supply chain is at risk right now, and these measures don’t do enough to ensure producers will be able to recover from this year and ensure the supply chains does too.” 

Thursday’s announcement from the federal government included calls for provinces to makes changes to AgriInsurance. APAS notes the Government of Saskatchewan has already made changes to help expedite the conversion of insured crops into greenfeed and other feed supplies.  

The organization is once again calling for an increased AgriStability compensation rate from 70 per cent to 80 per cent, along with an extension of the enrolment deadline.  

“During this extreme drought, it’s very important that governments continue to work together and provide additional support to producers,” Lewis said. “The wait and see time has passed. We need help now because many crops are too far gone.”