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Alta. livestock producers to receive $165M in drought support from provincial, federal program

Cattle graze at sunset near Cochrane, Alta., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. The governments of Alberta and Canada are to provide $165 million to support livestock producers affected by drought and extreme weather conditions.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh Cattle graze at sunset near Cochrane, Alta., on Thursday, June 8, 2023. The governments of Alberta and Canada are to provide $165 million to support livestock producers affected by drought and extreme weather conditions.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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CALGARY -

The governments of Alberta and Canada are to provide $165 million to support livestock producers affected by drought and extreme weather conditions.

The Canada-Alberta Drought Livestock Assistance program is aimed at livestock producers with grazing animals.

“Alberta's producers are vital to our economy,” said Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation RJ Sigurdson.

“This drought relief initiative will help take some of the pressure off and support producers to protect their livelihood while they continue to put food on the tables around this world.”

Under the cost-share deal, the federal government is providing $99 million and Alberta is to chip in another $66 million.

Eligible producers could receive up to $150 per head for breeding animals.

The program is open to grazing animals which include cattle, horses and bison.

“It's been a tough season. With devastating wildfire and serious drought conditions impacting operations. But I want Albertans to know that our governments are working hard to help the industry recover,” said Member of Parliament for Calgary-Skyview George Chahal.

Alberta Beef Producers, who represent the Alberta Beef industry, are grateful for the support after a tough growing season.

However, the organization is hoping to see other changes made to better support its producers, particularly making it easier for producers to access disaster insurance.

“Like all small business owners, we hold our livelihood dear. Our business is so volatile and unpredictable. So therefore we need disaster insurance programs that are not," vice chair of the Alberta Beef Producers Sheila Hillmer, said.

Details on the program are still being finalized and need to be approved by the federal government.

“This program will help alleviate some of the cost pressures, and support producers in protecting their livelihoods while they continue to put food on tables,” Sigurdson said.

Applications for the drought livestock assistance response are set to open next week.

With files from The Canadian Press

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