Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) President Greg Marshall has commended the federal and provincial governments for the introduction of the 2010 Pasture Recovery Initiative which was announced by Federal Agriculture and Agri Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and Alberta Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Jack Hayden in Lloydminster on Monday, May 31.
“We commend the federal and provincial governments for recognizing the severity of this situation and collaborating through AgriRecovery to make this much needed assistance available,” Marshall said. “We are also pleased that a wide variety of livestock have been included. This recognizes the diversification that has taken place and that these producers have been impacted by the drought as well.”
This Initiative will provide livestock producers pasturing in the eligible counties and municipal districts in Central and Northern Alberta and West Central and Northwest Saskatchewan with variable payments based on the type of breeding livestock they had as of January 1, 2010. Producers in these areas have experienced at least two years of drought. The funding is intended to help livestock producers in these areas buy feed while damaged pastures recover from the drought.
While this assistance to producers in these geographic areas is most welcome, Marshall said that this is evidence that the trigger mechanisms in AgriStability are not effectively reacting to the needs of livestock producers.
“Livestock producers throughout the province have been calling for assistance to offset the economic hurt that they have experienced through depressed livestock prices since the BSE issues that began in 2003," Marshall stated. "It is our hope that the upcoming review of Business Risk Management programs will lead to more effective safety net programs for all producers.”
APAS is Saskatchewan’s general farm organization formed to provide farmers and ranchers with a democratically elected, grassroots, non-partisan, producer organization based on rural municipal boundaries. As the united voice of thousands of agricultural producers in Saskatchewan, we strive to represent the views of a wide variety of agricultural stakeholders in order to form comprehensive policies that can benefit all sectors of society.
-30-For more information, please call Greg Marshall, APAS President at (306) 789-7774 ext 151 (office) or ext 211 (mobile)