March 26, 2004
March 26, 2004 -- In a news release offered earlier this week, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) announced $995 million in assistance for Canadian farmers who face historic financial challenges brought on by circumstances beyond their control.
The Transitional Industry Support Program will provide $680 million to Canadian producers of cattle and other ruminants who face prolonged closure of the Canadian-U.S. border due to the discover of BSE in May 2003. Producers will receive a flat-rate payment based on their herd inventories as of Dec. 23, 2003. Payments per animal will be up to the following amounts: cattle, $80; sheep and goats, $16; bison, $80; elk, $40; and deer, $20.
Producers must submit an application and declare their inventories to receive payments under the program. Payments are expected to begin to flow to producers in April.
An additional $250 million will be paid as direct payments to producers as they bridge to the new Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization program. Payments will be based on a producer?s five-year average of eligible net sales.
The remaining $65 million has been earmarked to cover the government?s share of the shortfall for the 2002 claim-year under the Canadian Farm Income Program. In 2002, claims to the program exceeded the amount available, due in large part to drought conditions in western Canada.
AAFC stated that producers have faced many challenges over the last years, including: closure of export markets, an appreciation of the Canadian dollar and consecutive droughts in the prairies.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 304-647-9981