Pasture Recovery Initiative
Res #: 27-10M
Responses Received: No
Departments: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
WHEREAS the Canada – Saskatchewan Pasture Recovery Initiative (CSPRI) is in response to drought conditions for 2008, 2009 and early 2010 with only 65 RMs in the designated area qualifying.
WHEREAS this prolonged drought has had a devastating effect for the past six years on pastures in the southwest; and
WHEREAS both the federal and provincial governments have recognized drought as a disaster;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Canada – Saskatchewan Pasture Recovery Initiative (CSPRI) be extended to include those RMs in the southwest drought disaster area.
Response from Honourable Gerry Ritz, PC, MP, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food:
The CS-PRI was designed under the AgriRecovery framework to help producers with the extraordinary feed costs associated with keeping their animals off pasture for up to six weeks in the spring of 2010 so that drought-affected pasture lands could recover in time for summer grazing.
I would like to assure you that in assessing the weather situation and determining eligible RMs for the CS-PRI, federal officials worked closely with their provincial counterparts and took into account all available information, with help from the province′s recommended industry groups.
In response to this situation, 64 specific designated RMs were identified based on multiple factors such as drought indicators and on-the-ground information. More specifically, identifying the eligible areas under the program required a detailed analysis of meteorological and hydrological data, as well as consultations with provincial and agri-climate specialists and forage/pasture experts.
I would also note that it is now well past the application deadline (September 1, 2010) for the CS-PRI and the majority of payments under the Initiative have already been completed, given that the intention of this program was to help pasture recovery this past spring.
It should be noted that the existing business risk management (BRM) programs, including AgriStability, AgriInvest, and AgriInsurance, are available to provide assistance with losses related to conditions such as drought. The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation offers coverage for tame and native hay, green feed, dehydrated alfalfa, and sweet clover acres against yield loss caused by a number of natural hazards, including drought, as well as a green feed re-establishment benefit. Furthermore, feed and transportation costs are eligible expenses when calculating production margins for the purposes of determining AgriStability payments. This means that if the additional cost of feeding their animals results in a significant decline in producers′ production margins relative to their historical margins, they could receive compensation for these costs. Producers with balances in their AgriInvest accounts could also have chosen to use this money to help with these additional feed and transportation costs.
Additional information on the BRM programs can be found on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada′s website at www.agr.gc.ca/brm as well as on the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation′s website at www.saskcropinsurance.com.