VANCOUVER - Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and British Columbia Minister of Agriculture Don McRae today announced up to $5 million for two new AgriRecovery initiatives to help B.C. vegetable, cattle and bison producers recover from the damage caused by extreme weather in 2010 and into the spring of 2011.
"B.C. growers and cattlemen are working hard to rebuild after damage caused by extreme weather last fall and into this spring, including flooding, drought, and wildfires," said Minister Ritz. "Our Governments are working together to ensure vegetable and livestock producers can deal with the prolonged impacts of these events and to get back to what they do best - deliver top quality products to consumers here in Canada and around the world."
"The Province is committed to working with the federal government to ensure B.C.'s farming and ranching families have access to programs that protect them from economic hardship due to adverse weather conditions like flooding and drought," said McRae. "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."
The two initiatives announced today include:
2011 Canada-BC Excess Moisture Initiative - This initiative includes $175 per acre for potato and vegetable producers on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island impacted by excess moisture to assist with the costs of restoring water-damaged crop land. This includes assistance to help with disposal of spoiled product in storage and the cleaning and disinfection of storage facilities.
2011 Canada-BC Feed Assistance and Pasture Restoration Initiative - This initiative will provide assistance to cattle and bison producers dealing with the impacts of flooding, drought and wild fires in 2010. The initiative will provide feed assistance of $1.02 per cow/calf for each day the animals are required to be off of pasture lands damaged by these conditions.
The initiative will also provide cattle and bison producers with assistance to help with the restoration of pastures damaged by flooding or wild fires, including $35 per hectare ($14.16 per acre) to assist with reseeding and assistance on a case-by-case basis to help with the costs of other actions required to restore pastures. Eligible areas include the Bella Coola,
Cariboo-Chilcotin and Central Interior regions.
This new funding has been made available under AgriRecovery, which allows Governments to respond to help farmers when disasters strike. Producers also have access to existing Business Risk Management programs, such as AgriInsurance, AgriStability, and AgriInvest, which are the main source of assistance to help producers deal with the costs and losses they may experience due to events such as drought and excess moisture.
More information regarding these two initiatives will be available in the coming weeks.
Producers are encouraged to contact a local BC Ministry of Agriculture office toll free at
1 877 343-2767, or visit: www.gov.bc.ca
For more information, media may contact:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
1 866 345-7972
Director of Communications
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
B.C. Ministry of Agriculture