Manitoba plan deals with feed shortage

Hundreds of cattle producers in parts of Manitoba, particularly the region between Riding Mountain and Lake Manitoba, the area north of Ste. Rose du Lac and the Interlake region, are struggling with a severe shortage of feed.

 

By Robert Arnason, The Western Producer (Canada)

October 3, 2019

 

Manitoba cattle ranchers are getting loans, deferred payments on loans and higher rates on immediate AgriStability payments to help with a feed shortage in parts of the province.

 

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced the support programs in a conference call with media Sept. 30.

 

“We recognize that many producers are feeling the effects of our dry summer,” he said. “We’re committed to long-term sustainability programs that will help keep them whole…. What we have currently is not working.”

 

Hundreds of cattle producers in parts of Manitoba, particularly the region between Riding Mountain and Lake Manitoba, the area north of Ste. Rose du Lac and the Interlake region, are struggling with a severe shortage of feed.

 

A prolonged drought cut into hay production this summer and many fields yielded 25 to 50 percent of the normal number of bales.

 

In late August and into September, more than a dozen municipalities declared states of emergency because of the drought and shortage of feed.

 

Eichler announced immediate steps for affected producers, including:

 

·         asking the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC) to defer loan re-payments for six months, on all direct loans

·         possibly extending the deferral, on loan payments, for another six months (a year in total)

·         MASC loans and financing for the purchase of calves

·         MASC loans for breeding stock, for the purchase of bred heifers

 

He also announced a one-time change to AgriStability, a business risk management program that supports farmers in years when profit margins drop significantly because of extreme weather or other events.

 

“The interim payment (with AgriStability) is 50 percent. We have the authority from the federal government to raise that to 75 percent,” Eichler said. “Currently, producers enrolled in AgriStability can apply for an advance up to 50 percent… on the expected AgriStability benefits for 2019.”

 

Deferred payments on loans and increasing the advanced payments from AgriStability should help cattle and livestock producers...

 

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https://www.producer.com/2019/10/manitoba-plan-deals-with-feed-shortage/