Sask government announces drought aid for farmers

The Saskatchewan government has announced immediate steps to help producers facing shortages of livestock feed and water due to drought.

Agriculture minister David Marit says he is asking Ottawa to implement a tax deferral on livestock sales.

He says the Crop Insurance Corporation will ensure damaged crops can be put to alternate use for livestock feed.

“When crops are severely damaged and appraised yield falls below an established threshold level, the yield is reduced to zero,” said Marit. “SCIC is doubling the low yield appraisal threshold values for customers who salvage their damaged crops for feed.”

He says the appraised yield threshold level will be adjusted for those who use damaged crops to improve feed supplies.

He adds the rebate for digging wells, dugouts and pipelines is being raised significantly from the maximum 50 thousand dollar limit.

“The first $50,000 will be based on a 50-50 cost share basis, and the remaining $100,000 will be on a 70-30 government-producer cost share basis,” said Marit. “This will further help with the development of  secure, sustainable water sources for the livestock producers.”

Marit says he hopes this will give producers enough time to save whatever’s left for feed as there’s not a whole lot left.

“It is serious out there,” said Marit. “I have seen devastation where there virtually is not much left.”

Earlier Wednesday, the Saskatchewan NDP called for the government to scrap the PST on dugout construction, and increase AgriStability rates as farmers deal with the drought.

Marit says he feels the action taken Wednesday will go a long way to helping farmers right away.

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