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Govt Helps Livestock Producers Access Feed

23 February 2011

CANADA - Relief is on the way for livestock producers facing severe feed shortages in Alberta's Peace Region, announced today by the federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Jack Hayden.

The Governments of Canada and Alberta will provide assistance through AgriRecovery to help livestock producers with transportation costs to access feed for their breeding herds.

"Over the years, livestock producers in the Peace Region have had to make difficult business decisions to cope with feed shortages and several years of drought is making it particularly tough for farm operations," said Minister Ritz. "Our Governments have worked closely together to provide producers with the immediate cash flow necessary to help cover some of the extra costs associated with accessing feed for their animals."

The 2010 Canada-Alberta Feed Transportation Assistance Initiative will provide emergency assistance to affected producers to cover a portion of the extraordinary costs of transporting forage and feed to their breeding herds, or alternatively, to transport their breeding herds to areas with a more abundant feed supply.

"The continued dry conditions that Peace Region producers have had to deal with this year have impacted the quality and quantity of feed and the livestock industry in the area. This has resulted in many producers having to deal with the added expense of bringing in feed or moving their animals to other pastures," said Jack Hayden, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. "I am pleased that we can provide this support to producers facing this difficult situation."

Producers who must incur the additional costs to transport feed to their livestock will be eligible to receive transportation assistance of up to $0.22 per tonne or up to $0.10 per head per loaded mile. Producers who must transport feed or breeding animals a distance up to 685 kilometers are eligible for a payment (with a minimum of 25 kilometers).

"Livestock producers in the Peace Country make a significant contribution to the economy of Alberta and all of Canada," added Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River. "Our Governments will continue to work together to respond in difficult times to ensure producers continue to bring high quality food to kitchen tables in Canada and around the world."

Producers have seen first-hand the effects of more than a decade of unusually dry conditions in the Peace area," said Hector Goudreau, Minister of Municipal Affairs and MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace. "This support will help to ease some of the financial pressure on livestock producers in areas that have been hardest hit by the dry conditions."

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