The governments of B.C.and Canada will provide support in the wake of wildfires, record heat and prolonged drought this year.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries said in a news release today that the support will be delivered through several programs to help sustain farmers’ and ranchers’ livelihoods, family farms and contributions to the province’s food security.
“The B.C. government has a dedicated team working closely with ranchers and farmers to respond to emergencies like wildfires and to create programs that help preserve their businesses and our local food supply,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “The losses B.C. farmers and ranchers have experienced this year have been heartbreaking, and recovering from them will take time, commitment and support, for which the B.C. government will be there for the whole way.”
The province says it is implementing “late participation” in the federal-provincial AgriStability program for 2021.
The program provides funding to farmers who have experienced income declines due to crop or livestock losses or market conditions. Late participation means B.C. farmers not enrolled for the 2021 program year can apply to enroll until Dec. 31, 2022.
The province says farmers already enrolled will be eligible for a much higher interim payment.
And B.C. farmers and ranchers who have suffered a decrease to their available feed supply and require emergency support as a result of this summer’s wildfires may also be eligible to receive hay through the Emergency Feed Program.
The 2021 Wildfire Emergency Feed Program will provide emergency feed support for up to 14 days for commercial livestock businesses unable to access their normal feed supply, or if their current forage has been burned or is unsafe.
The program will also support businesses forced to use forage or feed resources normally required to feed livestock through the rest of their yearly production cycle.