Cattle Support Payment

Res #: 11-09M
Number: 11
Year: 2009
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

WHEREAS farm groups have lobbied the Provincial and Federal Governments for financial assistance, based on a per cow and calf unit payment;


WHEREAS cattle subsidies per animal are considered trade-distorting under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);


WHEREAS proponents of per animal payments consider such a program as ad hoc support;


WHEREAS direct cattle payments only provide short term assistance and distort cattle prices; and


WHEREAS direct cattle payments show no benefit or preservation of the environment;


BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial and Federal Governments to provide for Ecological Goods & Services payments for cattle to be based on Animal Unit Month (AUM) assessments, with such payments to be on an ongoing basis.


Background provided by the RM of Lake of the Rivers No. 72:

AUM payments would be trade friendly as they can be shown as protecting the environment through the stewardship and retention of grasslands by encouraging proper grazing techniques.

Response from Honourable Bob Bjornerud, Minister of Agriculture:

The Government of Saskatchewan is aware of the financial pressures facing the cattle industry. To help address these challenges, we introduced the largest education property tax reduction in the province’s history, a $53 million province-wide Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program and a $71 million Cattle and Hog Support Program (CHSP). The CHSP provided a direct payment of $40 per cow and bred heifer to Saskatchewan producers. We have repeatedly asked the federal government to provide a $60 per head payment to top up this program.

We have also deferred principal payments for producers in the Short-Term Cattle Loan and Livestock Loan Guarantee Programs.

Other initiatives introduced by our government to support cattle producers include the Gopher Control Rebate Program, the Voluntary Livestock Traceability Rebate, the Coyote Control Program, and the Agricultural Crown Land Sale Program.

Our government will continue working with the industry and our federal/provincial/territorial counterparts to address the challenges facing livestock producers.