Throughout the summer, Alberta Beef Producers worked with government to develop an AgriRecovery response, advising that a program must account for this year’s complex moisture situation.
The Alberta government recognized that rainfall was very patchy and that producers would need flexibility in their management. At the time, both federal and provincial governments seemed to be willing to entertain a program that did not exclude any region and allowed for producer to prove need in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, that program was changed last minute.
ABP is thankful for the $165 million commitment of support for 1.1 million head. But we also fully recognize that many producers are without support, and we hoped drought assistance could be offered to those affected, regardless of municipal boundaries. Producers needed the program Alberta Beef Producers lobbied for originally.
In a letter sent November 3, 2023, Alberta Beef Producers asked the Government of Alberta to reconsider the boundaries to reflect the variability of the drought-affected regions.
On November 7, Alberta agriculture and irrigation stakeholders received the following response from Honourable R.J. Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation:
AgriRecovery was developed as a once-in-fifteen-year disaster relief program to help agricultural producers recover from natural disasters. The 2023 Canada-Alberta Drought Livestock Assistance program marks the second AgriRecovery in three years. This is proof of what Alberta Beef Producers has advocated to see for over two years. The Alberta cattle industry needs access to timely, relevant, and consistent disaster insurance programs.
The governments of Canada and Alberta, Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, and the Alberta beef industry must align on the immediacy of this need and ensure accessible and equitable programming is available in 2024.
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