Feds sign on to $340M program helping Alberta livestock producers hit by drought

The amount of dollars available to Alberta livestock producers troubled by drought conditions has more than doubled with confirmation of help from Ottawa.

The 2021 Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance Initiative now makes $340 million available to cover feed and water access costs for breeding female livestock.

The federal government's contribution of $204 million – or 60 per cent of the cost-shared AgriRecovery program – was confirmed Tuesday by the Alberta government.

Alberta announced its $136-million contribution in August.

Farmers may be eligible for a first per-head payment for:

  • Cattle and bison: $94
  • Horses: $113
  • Elk, yak and musk ox: $47
  • Deer and llamas: $24
  • Sheep, goats and alpacas: $19

They may also be eligible for a secondary payment according to the number of animals they have as of Dec. 31.

Both will require proof of expense.

In total, beef and bison producers, for example, could receive a maximum of $200 per head.

Full details, as well as terms and conditions, are available on the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation website, which will administer the program.

The latest provincial crop report called pasture conditions still "a concern" and rated 51 per cent of pasture land as poor. Only 17 per cent was rated as good, while 33 per cent as "fair."