Federal agriculture minister announces prairie drought aid

Federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has announced support for drought-stricken farmers.

Bibeau announced the early designation of the Livestock Tax Deferral provision for drought regions in the four Western provinces and Ontario.

She says this will allow beef producers who are forced to sell their herd due to drought to offset revenues with the cost of replacing the herd.

In addition, she says adjustments are being made to AgriInsurance programs on the prairies to make drought-damaged crops available for feed.

She says AgriRecovery disaster relief assessments are underway and extraordinary costs could see joint government support.

Bibeau says this could include direct help for added cost of livestock feed, transportation and water infrastructure.

She adds producers can also apply for interim payments under AgriStability to help cope with immediate financial challenges.

She also offered again to raise the Agristability compensation rate from 70 to 80 percent and urged prairie governments to match it.

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