We’re here to help
Many agri-businesses have been impacted by this year’s drought conditions in the western provinces. We have put together information and resources to help you through this difficult time, including a run-down of government assistance that could be available to you. Please do not hesitate to call 1-888-234-2232 or email us at [email protected] and we will assist you in any way possible.
Agri-Stability is designed to protect Canadian producers against large declines in farming income for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions. It is margin-based, and specially helps manage large declines. Your business must enroll each year, pay fees and submit forms by applicable deadlines.
On July 15, 2021, the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said the federal government is currently in discussions with provincial governments affected by the drought to invoke the late participation provision of Agri-Stability to allow more producers to access support.
Producers can also apply for interim payments under Agri-Stability, which can help them cope with immediate financial challenges.
On August 4 2021, the federal government and Government of Saskatchewan announced an increase of the 2021 Agri-Stability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75% for Saskatchewan producers.
On August 5, 2021, the the federal government and Government of Manitoba announced an increase of the 2021 Agri-Stability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75% for Manitoba producers. Manitoba is also invoking the late participation option for producers not currently participating in AgriStability. Payments to late participants will be reduced by 20% prior to applying any other deductions or penalties.
The Governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario have also agreed to increase the 2021 Agri-Stability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75%, so producers can access a greater portion of their benefit early to meet their urgent needs.
The Agri-Stability program is delivered provincially in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but federally in Manitoba.
For more information, visit:
Agri-Insurance is a federal-provincial-producer cost-shared program that stabilizes a producer's income by minimizing primarily production losses caused by severe, uncontrollable natural hazards. Producers get a payment when they experience a production loss during the year. Currently, five provinces participate: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
On July 22, 2021, Minister Bibeau announced federal support for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta agri-businesses for immediate bilateral adjustments to the cost-shared Agri-Insurance program to make drought-damaged crops available for feed. See more information below on specific programming available through Agri-Insurance in your province.
For more information, visit:
Agri-Recovery is a federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) disaster relief framework to help producers recover from natural disasters. The focus of Agri-Recovery is the extraordinary costs producers must take on to mitigate the effects of a disaster and/or resume operations as quickly as possible following one. For more information, visit AgriRecovery Framework.
The Governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have already asked the federal government to initiate the Agri-Recovery process for producers in the three provinces. Accordingly, on July, 22, 2021, Minister Bibeau announced that Agri-Recovery assessments are underway with Manitoba and the other provinces impacted by the drought, including Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
On August 6, 2021, Minister Bibeau announced the federal government is making available $100 million through the Agri-Recovery Framework to address the immediate extraordinary costs faced by producers due to the drought and wildfires. This funding is designed to match all provincial Agri-Recovery submissions on the 60-40 cost-shared basis outlined under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
On August 6, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced that $136 million will be available from the province under the Agri-Recovery program for livestock producers and beekeepers, and has asked the federal government to provide an additional $204 million for a total relief package of $340 million.
On August 10, 2021, the Governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba also announced funding that will be available for livestock producers in both provinces. In Manitoba, the government will invest $62 million in programs under the Agri-Recovery framework. In Saskatchewan, the government will invest $119 million in direct support for drought-affected cattle producers under the Agri-Recovery program. Both provinces continue to operate on a 40-60 shared funding model (provincial-federal).
On August 15, 2021, Minister Bibeau announced that the Government of Canada has increased total Agri-Recovery funding to up to $500 million to address extraordinary costs faced by producers due to drought and wildfires. This includes initial funding of $100 million announced on August 6, 2021.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: On September 1, 2021, Saskatchewan's Agri-Recovery program (the 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative) opened for applications.
The Initiative consists of two payments totaling up to $200/head for cattle, with adjustments based on animal unit equivalents for other livestock. The initial payment will provide producers with $100 per breeding female equivalent in inventory as of August 1, 2021. Secondary payments will be up to $100 per breeding female equivalent in inventory as of December 31, 2021. Eligible livestock include Canadian-owned female beef and dairy cattle, bison, elk, sheep or goats that are bred or intended to be bred. The number of open replacement females that can be considered eligible livestock is 15 per cent of the total number of bred females. For more information and to apply, visit the Initiative webpage.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: On August 31, 2021, Manitoba launched two new programs to support livestock producers through Agri-Recovery: the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program and the Livestock Transportation Drought Assistance program. Manitoba is also in the process of designing a cowherd-rebuilding program under the Agri-Recovery framework to help livestock producers forced to sell breeding stock due to limited feedstock in 2021 to rebuild their herds in 2022. For more information and to apply, visit the program websites.
Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, livestock producers can now apply to two programs. The Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program will help producers purchase and test feed for livestock to maintain their breeding herds including transporting purchased feed from distant locations. The Livestock Transportation Drought Assistance program will offer assistance to help offset freight expenses associated with moving livestock to alternative feed supply areas.
Eligible animals under the Livestock Feed and Transportation Drought Assistance program are breeding animals of beef and dairy cattle, horses raised for pregnant mare urine (PMU), sheep, goats and bison. Producers must be supporting a minimum of 10 animals to qualify for assistance and the program covers feed and feed transportation expenses between June 1, 2021, and March 15, 2022. Feed must have been delivered from a supplier at least 40 kilometres away and assistance is available for hauling feed for up to a maximum one-way distance of 600 km. Eligible feed purchases are those made between June 1, 2021, and March 15, 2022.
The Livestock Transportation program offers help for producers with extraordinary costs to transport breeding animals of beef cattle, sheep and goats to alternate locations to feed, up to 1,000 km. This program does not cover moving animals to market or sale.
Manitoba is also in the process of designing a cowherd-rebuilding program under the Canada-Manitoba AgriRecovery Drought Assistance framework to help livestock producers forced to sell breeding stock due to limited feedstock in 2021 with the goal to rebuild their herds starting in 2022. The details of this program are currently under development.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: On September 3, 2021, British Columbia announced that ranchers can access up to $20 million to help with extraordinary expenses they incur for feed, shelter, animal health and safety, and the transportation of their livestock as a result of this year’s wildfires and drought.
B.C.’s farmers are also eligible to receive funding for extraordinary expenses through the 2021 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought Agri-Recovery Initiative. These eligible expenses include reseeding forage, and to replace fencing or other critical infrastructure that is not insurable and was damaged or destroyed in the fires. This funding includes funding for beekeepers to replace their colonies or apiary equipment lost in the wildfires. For more information and to apply, visit the program website.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: On September 7, 2021, Alberta launched their Agri-Recovery program - the 2021 Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance Initiative - to help cover feed and water access costs for breeding female livestock across the province. Producers can now apply.
As well, using a feed-need approach, supplemented by receipts, a secondary payment of up to $106 per head will be available to producers who have experienced extraordinary costs as a result of the drought. Cattle and bison will be eligible for an initial payment of $94 per head and a secondary payment of $106 per head, for a total of $200 per head. Other livestock will be subject to a different per head payment. The program will be administered through Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC). For more information and to apply, visit the program website.
The Livestock Tax Deferral provision allows farmers who sell part of their breeding herd due to drought or flooding in prescribed drought or flood regions to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year. When prescribed regions are identified, the list is posted at Livestock Tax Deferral Provision.
On July 22, 2021, Minister Bibeau announced the early designation of the Livestock Tax Deferral provision for prescribed drought regions of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. This will allow beef producers who are forced to sell a significant amount of their breeding herd due to drought conditions to offset the resulting revenues with the costs to replace the herd. The Government of Canada will work closely with provincial governments and stakeholders to continue adding other regions throughout the year as additional information is collected.
Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas
The Government of Manitoba is now accepting applications for Managing Livestock Access to Riparian Areas beneficial management practice (BMP 503). This program is cost shared (50:50) with a funding cap of $10,000. The deadline to apply for this program is September 1, 2021.
Eligible items include:
- water source development – constructing new or rehabilitating existing wells or dugouts;
- solar, wind or grid-powered alternative watering systems;
- permanent fencing to restrict livestock access to surface water and dugouts; and
- permanent pipeline development.
- Application Form
- More information
Hay Disaster Benefit (MASC)
The Hay Disaster Benefit, through Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s (MASC), will provide an additional $44/tonne (for every tonne below coverage) to insured forage producers to help offset the additional cost of replacement feed and transportation due to the severe shortage of forage throughout the province. Producers with this insurance can register a forage insurance claim now or by the September 30 deadline to potentially receive a top-up payment if they experience a tonnage shortfall.
MASC is also applying a quality adjustment factor to appraisals on crops that are being put to alternate use under the AgriInsurance program. A 60% adjustment factor to in-field appraisals will be applied on small grain cereal crops (all varieties of wheat, oats, fall rye, barley, and triticale). Reducing the appraisal of claims by 40% reflects the expected reduction in quality resulting from the drought conditions. The full yield appraisal will be used to calculate future coverage, which provides producers who repurpose their crops for livestock feed an added benefit. This reduction will apply retroactively to producers who have already put their cereal crop to an alternate use this year.
Manitoba Farm Stress and Support Line
- Manitoba Farm, Rural & Northern Support Services
Manitoba drought assistance resources:
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation will allow low-yield crops to be put to alternative use to support the livestock industry. SCIC is doubling the Low Yield Appraisal threshold values for producers who salvage their cereal or pulse crops as feed. For more information, contact 1-888-935-000 or visit Dealing with dry conditions.
Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program
The maximum funding through this program is being tripled, from $50,000 to $150,000 until March 31, 2022. Rebates are set at 50% of eligible costs (to the maximum) over the lifetime of the program. The first $50,000 will be based on a 50-50 cost-share between the government and producer and the remaining $100,000 will be on a 70-30 government-producer split.
For more information, visit Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP).
Farm Stewardship Program (Cow-Calf Producers)
Eligible beef cow-calf producers can now access cost shared funding of up to 75% of project costs, to a maximum payment of $15,000, for the development of preventative run-off control measures. Eligible projects include; holding or retention ponds for collecting run-off, ditches, berms or dykes and earthwork or pen regrading to achieve proper run-off.
The Farm Stress Line
Saskatchewan drought resources:
Low Yield Crop Adjustments
Together with the federal government, Alberta is making an adjustment to crop insurance that will allow farmers to put more poor quality crops towards livestock feed, helping ease feed shortages for livestock during the current drought. This is being done through the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) and Agri-Insurance.
Low Yield Allowance is a standard part of the production insurance program, and is meant for situations of extreme heat and severe drought. Alberta is doubling the low yield threshold to allow for additional cereal or pulse crops to be salvaged for livestock feed. For example, the barley crop threshold will be increased from 150 to 300 kg per acre.
Note: It is extremely important that clients talk to their AFSC branch office before putting a crop to an alternative use. Priority will be give to those who want to use crops for immediate pasture or for silage or bale crops.
Alberta Financial Services Corporation (AFSC)
The Alberta’s government and Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) has reduced crop insurance premiums by 20% for 2021. This allowed almost 400 additional farmers and ranchers to enrol in crop, pasture and forage insurance that protects against weather-related production loss.
For more information, visit Alberta Premium Reduction Q & As.
Alberta drought resources:
- Alberta Water Pumping Program (equipment rental)
- Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
- Livestock Information and Services
- Crop Information and Services
- Ag-Info Centre
- Agriculture decision making tools
Alberta Mental Health Help Line
British Columbia drought and wildfire assistance programs:
- Insurance helps producers manage their risk of crop losses caused by hail, spring frost, excessive rain, flooding, drought, etc.
- Insurable crops:
- Berries - blueberries, blueberry plants, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries and strawberry plants
- Flower bulbs - daffodil bulbs, tulip bulbs
- Forage - grass, legumes, greenfeed and silage corn
- Grain - canola, wheat, barley, oats, field peas, rye, forage seed (spot loss only)
- Grapes - wine grapes, table grapes
- Tree Fruits - apples, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, cherries
- Vegetables - beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, fresh market corn, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, rutabaga
- Each crop has a different application and payment deadline. Give enough time before the deadline to gather the information needed and send the completed schedules to the Production Insurance office.
- If damage is suspected file a Notice of Loss (NOL) immediately. File a Notice of Loss each time there is suspected crop damage.
Crop & Livestock Loss or Damage Due to Wildlife
Agriculture producers can get compensation due to wildlife damage to some harvested and unharvested crops by enrolling in the Agriculture Wildlife Program. Only losses caused by the following wildlife, which are not held in captivity will be considered:
- Mountain sheep
- Compensation may be restricted to agriculture producers who follow best management practices in crop loss prevention. Agriculture producers must provide proof of:
- BC Assessment Farm Status
- Private land ownership and/or lease confirmation along with a tax reporting number for any potential payments
Although purchasing crop insurance is encouraged, it is not a requirement for enrollment in the Agriculture Wildlife Program. If you purchase crop insurance you will automatically be enrolled.
Emergency management for agriculture
British Columbia Mental Health Resources
Our primary concern at CFIB is making sure you have the support you need to get through this uncertain and challenging time. We provide you with expert advice and ensure that you have all of the latest information on government announcements and available support.