Canadian Farmers Call for Drought Related Action on Crop Insurance

USAgNet - 07/21/2021

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association held a town hall meeting yesterday to discuss the drought situation, which is impacting producers from British Columbia to Ontario.

According to, extreme temperatures and below average rainfall have deteriorated pasture, hay and cropland which has resulted in limited feed supplies, with many producers who are short on feed and water supplies looking at culling animals hard this year.

In many areas, crop producers are facing extremely poor crops and are looking at whether to invest in crop protection products or if the crop is even worth taking through to harvest.

Brady Stadnicki is the CCA's Manager of Policy and Programs and outlined the CCA and Provincial Cattle Association requests for action from the Federal and Provincial governments.

He says the first request is to enact temporary, but immediate, measures on crop insurance programming to support the timely designation of crops into livestock feed.

"We're also requesting under crop insurance that there be some incentives or preferential treatment, to be announced, so that it helps allow crops to be grazed or converted into feed without penalty. So one option is to increase the low yield appraisal thresholds, values for farmers who salvage crops into livestock feed, without impacting that future individual coverage. This was actually a measure announced in Saskatchewan last week, and we'd like to see this widely implemented across the drought stricken provinces immediately. Some other incentives on crop insurance that, you know, we'd like to see is excluding or lowering the weighted average of the current crop year yields from a producer's long term individual yield calculation or individual production index calculation. If their crop is used for feeder grazing. We think that would be an incentive to really help more crop go into feed production. And another option would be looking at some sort of premium rebate or discount on next year's crop insurance premiums for producers who are designating crops into livestock feed. This request is very urgent given the closing window available to salvage crops for feed. It's a top priority for the beef industry to maintain the cattle herd by working with grain and oilseed farmers to convert these failed or poor crops into suitable feed while this opportunity still exists."

Stadnicki says they also want Ottawa and the provinces to immediately initiate drought relief programming under agri-recovery, and implement a livestock tax deferral provision for areas impacted by the drought that covers more than one year and all classes of cattle.

He notes they're also urging governments to dedicate additional resources to support quality water access and infrastructure.

CCA President, Bob Lowe, says due to the critical timeline we are facing, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association appreciates working in close collaboration with our grains and oilseed neighbours to maintain the cow herd in devastating drought-stricken areas across the country.

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