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July 15, 2021

CCA and provincial associations support Ministers’ meeting and call for action on relief measures

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Provincial Cattle Associations support FPT Ministers’ meeting on drought and wildfire conditions and call for prompt action on relief measures

Calgary, AB – Beef producers in parts of Ontario, the prairie provinces and British Columbia are facing severe drought conditions. Extreme temperatures and below average rainfall are already creating feed and water supply shortages and have some beef producers struggling to maintain their herd sizes. Active wildfires in B.C. are also significantly impacting the land that cattle producers depend on for grazing and raising their herd.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Provincial Cattle Associations appreciate that Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers will be meeting this afternoon to discuss the critical nature of this severe drought and fire situation. Cattle producers are requesting urgent government action on drought and wildfire relief measures.

Immediate measures that should be taken include:

  • Expedite approvals for insured crops to be designated for livestock feed or grazing purposes. Provide preferential treatment or incentives to allow crops to be grazed or converted to feed without penalty.
  • Dedicate additional resources to support quality water access and infrastructure.
  • Initiate drought relief programming under AgriRecovery to assist with extraordinary costs related to feed and water shortages and impacts of wildfires to maintain the national cattle herd.
  • Immediately implement the Livestock Tax Deferral provision for Ontario, the entire prairie provinces and B.C. Extend eligibility to include all classes of cattle.
  • Declare B.C. wildfires eligible for the Disaster Financial Assistance program.

Without timely and targeted assistance from federal and provincial governments, beef producers will be forced to make difficult management decisions including culling of their herds. It is of critical importance that Canada’s beef cow herd be maintained throughout this disaster event.

Bob Lowe, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association President

BC has been hit very hard this year with minimal moisture throughout the spring and 10 days of extreme temperatures in the mid to high 40s, which has created a perfect environment for fires and drought. We are faced with a very bleak outlook for the industry and the province. While we have not yet been declared a State of Emergency, we are in the middle of one of the largest disasters we have ever faced. The need to have financial assistance for this disaster is crucial for us to rebuild and survive this event.

Kevin Boon, BC Cattlemen’s Association General Manager

We appreciate the Minister’s acknowledgment of the urgency of the drought situation. Our top priority is attempting to maintain the mother cow herd by converting failed crops to suitable feed while that opportunity still exists.

Dr. Melanie Wowk, Alberta Beef Producers Chair

The drought situation in Saskatchewan is anywhere from critical to extremely dire. We have been working with CCA and all levels of government to address this challenging weather situation. With the expected heat dome coming showing temperatures in the high 30s and no rain in sight, we know the situation will only worsen over the coming weeks. The Saskatchewan government recently announced measures through SCIC and FRWIP, which are a good first step. Additional measures are still needed to get our cattle producers through not only this year, but the next.

Arnold Balicki, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Chair

Manitoba’s beef sector has been taxed by successive years of dry conditions and droughts which have depleted feed and water resources. The conditions are continuing to deteriorate each day, forcing producers to evaluate their options, such as downsizing or exiting. MBP is also working with the CCA and government officials to identify both near and longer-term strategies to help address this situation. The more swiftly initiatives can be implemented, the better.

Tyler Fulton, president, manitoba beef producers

We are very concerned about the short-term and potential long-term implications of the 2021 drought for the Ontario cow herd and the broader Canadian cattle sector. Pastures in several regions of Ontario have been decimated by the persistent heat and lack of timely rains. The increased cost of feed as well as the costs associated with re‐establishing hayfields and pasture next year will add to the hardship for those in affected regions. The scope and severity of the drought in parts of Ontario and across western Canada will have significant consequences for our sector in the absence of government assistance.

Rob Lipsett, Beef Farmers of Ontario President

This statement is written collaboratively by Beef Farmers of Ontario, Manitoba Beef Producers, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, Alberta Beef Producers, British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

PDF Version

For further information, contact:

Jennifer Babcock
Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
613-716-3244 | babcockj@cattle.ca

Holly Jackson
BC Cattlemen’s Association
(250) 573-3611 | holly@cattlemen.bc.ca

Katelyn Laverdure
Alberta Beef Producers
403-451-1176 | katelynl@albertabeef.org

Ryder Lee
Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association
306-585-2333 | communications@saskbeef.com

David Hultin
Manitoba Beef Producers
204-772-4542 | dhultin@mbbeef.ca

LeaAnne Wurmli
Beef Farmers of Ontario
519.824.0334 Ext. 230 |leaanne@ontariobeef.co

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