Saskatchewan (Rural Roots Canada) – The federal government is extending additional support to eligible livestock producers in Saskatchewan amid ongoing drought concerns.

Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced top-up payments will be provided to eligible producers already enrolled in the 2023 Canada-Saskatchewan Feed Program. Launched in October 2023, the program aims to alleviate the financial burdens affected producers face in drought-impacted regions of the province.

“Drought conditions are having a serious impact on livestock producers right across Saskatchewan,” says MacAulay. “We will continue working closely with the province to ensure affected producers have access to the financial tools they need to protect their operations.”

RELATED: Drought Livestock Assistance Initiative expanded in Alberta

Initially, payments were prorated up to 75% of the total payment, based on producer applications, ensuring equitable support distribution. The current allocation will cover the remaining 25%, providing a boost to eligible producers who applied before the deadline. Eligible producers within designated regions, as per the Canadian Drought Monitor map, stand to receive a top-up of up to $50 per head, while those in the provincial-only area will receive up to $20 per head.

droughtChad Ross, Vice-Chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, is commending both governments in addressing the challenges cattle producers face.

“The last couple of years have been a struggle for cattle producers in the province.  We appreciate the investment in our industry made by both levels of government.”

The sentiment was echoed by Ray Orb, President of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), who expressed appreciation for the ongoing commitment of both federal and provincial governments to support Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector.

“SARM appreciates the top-up funding to the Canada-Saskatchewan Feed program which will help livestock producers that are experiencing extra costs associated with drought,” he noted.

The Canada-Saskatchewan Feed Program has garnered significant interest, receiving almost 3,500 applications from producers seeking assistance. The program, formerly known as Saskatchewan’s AgriRecovery Program, operates within the federal-provincial-territorial disaster relief framework.

In addition to the Canada-Saskatchewan Feed Program, producers have access to a suite of business risk management (BRM) programs, including AgriStability, AgriInsurance, and AgriInvest.

The deadline to apply for the Canada-Saskatchewan Feed Program closed in March. Producers who submitted applications before the deadline can expect funds to be disbursed in the coming weeks, with the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation’s Feed Team facilitating the reprocessing of applications.