B.C. offering financial support, emergency feed to farmers who have suffered from wildfires

B.C. offering financial support, emergency feed to farmers who have suffered from wildfires
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The B.C. government, alongside the federal government, has announced that it will be offering financial support to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to wildfires, hot temperatures and the prolonged drought this year.

The support will be delivered to farmers in need through several programs geared at helping sustain livelihoods, family farms and contributions to the province’s food security.

One of the programs being established is a federal-provincial AgriRecovery response to help producers who are experiencing extraordinary recovery expenses due to fire and drought.

Additionally, the Province is taking steps to allow for “late participation” in the federal-provincial AgriStability program for 2021. The government says that the program provides funding to farmers who have experienced income declines due to crop or livestock losses or market conditions. The late participation option means that farmers currently not enrolled can apply for enrollment up until Dec. 31, 2022.

“The losses B.C. farmers and ranchers have experienced this year have been heartbreaking, and recovering from them will take time, commitment and support, for which the B.C. government will be there for the whole way,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

According to the government, farmers that are part of the AgriStability program for 2021 will be eligible to receive a much higher interim payment within a few weeks of completing the application forms. The government says the maximum interim payment will be increased from 50% to 75% of the estimated final payment, which is intended to improve cash flow and help them continue with operations.

“By unlocking more AgriStability funds through interim payments and invoking late participation, we can get more cash in hand for farmers who are making tough decisions in a difficult situation. We will continue to support farm families to get them through the challenges we face today, and position them for a sustainable future since we know climate change will continue to pose challenges,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

An Emergency Feed Program is also being set up by the Province which is meant to ensure there is an available food supply for those who have suffered from wildfires and drought in order to ensure continued care for animals.

The government outlines that the 2021 Wildfire Emergency Feed Program will provide emergency feed support for up to 14 days for commercial livestock businesses unable to access their normal feed supply, or if their current forage has been burned or is unsafe. The program will also support businesses forced to use forage or feed resources normally required to feed livestock through the rest of their yearly production cycle.

The 2021 Wildfire Emergency Feed Program is separate from the Livestock Relocation Program.

Information about each specific program can be found through the links below:

To enroll in AgriStability, visit:

Federal government news release about its commitment to $100 million in national 2021 AgriRecovery funding:

For information about the 2021 Wildfire Emergency Feed Program, visit:

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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