Sask. Stock Growers grateful for added supports amid drought
REGINA -- A group representing Saskatchewan livestock producers said measures announced by the provincial government on Wednesday were a necessary move to help producers.
"[The government] acted in a timely fashion to put in tools that are going to help producers navigate this drought," said Kelcy Elford, president of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association.
The drought affecting parts of southern Saskatchewan is causing major problems for livestock producers. The SSGA said an insurance option to use damaged crops to feed livestock will go a long way toward addressing the major concerns surrounding the expectation winter feed will be in short supply.
"The [Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation] is doubling the low yield appraisal threshold values for customers who salvage these crops for feed," Minister of Agriculture David Marit said Wednesday.
"We encourage grain producers to work with neighbouring livestock producers to make field available."
"For [farmers] to be able to write those crops off and livestock producers come in and either silage or bale and salvage what they can, that's a huge win," Elford said.
The announcement comes as 25 per cent or more of crops in each category are ahead of their normal developmental stages for this time of year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Aggravating factors are the extreme heat and a lack of moisture.
"Any rain right now isn't going to save yields or increase yields, but what that rain will do is give fields with potential to maintain the fields that they're going to have and keep the yields from dropping even further," said Matthew Struthers, a crop extension specialist with the Ministry.
The SSGA added some effects of this drought will be longer-term, and it will take constant communication between the industry and the government to keep people from leaving the sector.