AgriRecovery pledged following “extreme” B.C. weather

Cattle, bison and vegetable producers in parts of British Columbia can expect up to $5 million from two AgriRecovery programs in the wake of floods, droughts and wildfires during 2010 through to this spring.

The joint federal/provincial programs, pledged Tuesday in Vancouver, are to include a feed assistance and pasture restoration initiative for cattle and bison producers and an excess moisture initiative for potato and vegetable growers.

The livestock program is to provide feed assistance in eligible areas, worth $1.02 per cow-calf for each day the animals remain off pasture for reasons relating to floods, drought and/or wildfires during 2010. 

Cattle and bison producers are also to expect assistance to help restore pastures damaged by flooding or wildfires, worth $14.16 per acre to help with reseeding, plus assistance on a “case-by-case basis” to help cover costs of “other actions required to restore pastures.”

Areas where producers are eligible for feed assistance or pasture restoration funds include the Bella Coola, Cariboo-Chilcotin and Central Interior regions, the governments said in a joint release.

The excess moisture program, meanwhile, is to provide $175 per acre for potato and vegetable producers on B.C.’s lower mainland and Vancouver Island to help with the costs of restoring water-damaged cropland.

Eligible costs include disposal of spoiled product in storage, as well as cleaning and disinfection for storage facilities.

More information on both programs is expected to be made available “in the coming weeks,” the governments said.

Producers who may be eligible for these AgriRecovery programs can contact their local agriculture ministry office through a central toll-free line at 1-877-343-2767, the province noted.

AgriRecovery programs, part of the suite of business risk management (BRM) programs under the cost-shared federal/provincial Growing Forward ag policy funding framework, are meant as targeted, disaster-specific programming for farmers when aid is needed beyond what other BRM programs cover.

“This past year there have been a number of weather events across the province that affected our farmers, and ministry staff worked hard to respond quickly because fresh local food is important to all B.C. families,” provincial Agriculture Minister Don McRae said in Tuesday’s release.

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