Options for producers dealing with dry conditions

Today Federal Agriculture Minister, Marie Claude Bibeau and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced additional program measures and flexibility to help address the dry conditions across the province.

“Our government stands behind our farmers and understands their need for flexibility in these challenging conditions,” said Bibeau.  “We are pleased to work with our provincial counterparts in Saskatchewan to ensure our hardworking producers have the ability to better manage their operations through dry conditions.”

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The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the challenges many Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers are facing due to dry conditions and is closely monitoring moisture, crop and forage conditions across the province.

“Current dry conditions across the province are forcing producers to revisit how they are managing their forage and pastures,” Marit said.  “That is why we are announcing a number of flexible options for producers today.”

Through the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Program, the deadline for seeding crops for greenfeed has been extended from June 30 to July 15.  Producers who have Crop Insurance will now be able to seed and insure any cereal greenfeed crop.  This includes customers who have not previously endorsed greenfeed on their contract of insurance.  Crop Insurance customers have until July 15 to select this endorsement and seed their greenfeed crop.

If a Crop Insurance customer wants to use their annual crop acres for livestock grazing or for feed, they can contact their local Crop Insurance office.  Crop Insurance customers also have coverage should their annual crops suffer from the dry conditions.

The producer can register a pre-harvest claim if they do not want to carry the crop through to harvest.  If the producer takes their crop to harvest, but it has a reduced yield, they can file a post-harvest claim.  Producers concerned about the dry conditions should contact their local Crop Insurance office to review the options available for claims, compensation and the requirements for the options they choose.

The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) gives producers the opportunity to purchase insurance based on a forward market price for their cattle.  As dry conditions persist, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) wants to reassure WLPIP policy holders that they are supported when making marketing decisions.  For those that purchased price insurance this spring, the 60 day continuous criteria will be waived for the 2019 grazing season.

A reminder to all producers, there is still time to enroll in AgriStability for the 2019 Program Year, as the enrolment deadline has been extended to July 2, 2019.

SCIC staff are available to walk producers through their options and discuss claims, compensation and requirements.  SCIC wants all customers to be assured the Corporation is working hard to ensure timely responses to their claims and inquiries.  If producers have further questions, please call 1-888-935-0000 or visit www.saskcropinsurance.com.  Please leave a message if you are calling after hours.

Additional resources are available through the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.  There are two programs offered under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support the development of a secure and sustainable water source for agricultural purposes and help mitigate impacts of drought.  Producers are encouraged to apply to the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) and the Irrigation Program.

Ministry of Agriculture regional offices across the province are available for information on alternative feeding strategies, permission requests on Crown land leases, pasture management, assistance with water testing or interpretation of feed and water test results.  Specialists can also assist with pathfinding solutions, such as water pumping and moving equipment rentals.

If you require further information, please contact your local Regional Office, the Agriculture Knowledge Centre general inquiry line at 1-866-457-2377 or email aginfo@gov.sk.ca.

In addition, Crown land lessees with excess grazing or hay resources may request permission to: sub-lease their pasture; graze non-owned cattle on the lease; harvest some or all of the hay on the lease; and sell hay from the lease.  Please make contact prior to utilizing these options.

The Ministry of Environment has lands that may be available for grazing until September 1 through the Fish and Wildlife Development Fund (FWDF).  For information on submitting an expression of interest or a list of FWDF land by rural municipality, call 1-844-306-3933 or please visit https://fwdf.ca/opportunties/.   

Producers using these lands will pay the same amount as other Crown land lessees for grazing.  They will be responsible for managing and monitoring livestock, as well as setting up and maintaining temporary fencing and any watering requirements that are not already established.

We recognize that this is a difficult time and would like to remind producers the Farm Stress Line is available for support if you need it.  The Farm Stress Line is a confidential service, available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, toll-free at 1-800-667-4442.  Calls are answered by Mobile Crisis Services Regina, a non-profit, community-based agency and there is no call display.

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