High heat and low moisture levels have affected many of Saskatchewan’s producers. The Ministry of Agriculture recognizes how difficult such years can be, and we’re providing options to help where possible.
Saskatchewan Pastures Program
The Saskatchewan Pastures Program is at capacity and we cannot accept new cattle in dry areas. In the event cattle are sent home early, either to ensure cow/calf pairs can remain or as a result of the dry conditions, charges will reflect the actual number of grazing days rather than the minimum grazing period of 110 days.
Leasing and Sales
Crown land leases with excess grazing or hay resources may request permission to:
- Sub-lease their pasture;
- Graze non-owned cattle on the lease;
- Harvest some or all of the hay on the lease; and
- Sell hay from the lease.
These requests for permission should be made to your local Regional Office.
Conservation and Recreational Land
The Ministry of Environment has Fish and Wildlife Development Fund (FWDF) lands available until Sept. 15. Visit the FWDF website for a list of FWDF land by rural municipality or call 1-844-306-3933 toll-free for more information. If you use these lands, you’ll pay the same as lessees of other Crown land for grazing. You will also be responsible for setting up and maintaining temporary fencing, and managing and monitoring livestock. You will also need to set up and maintain any watering requirements that aren’t already established.
Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program
With this sustained stretch of dry weather, applications to Saskatchewan’s Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program will be considered until September 30, past the current August 1 deadline. The program assists farmers and ranchers in developing sustainable water supplies for agricultural use.
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) Business Risk Management Programs
SCIC recognizes the most pressing concern at this time is for livestock producers who are short of feed due to the dry conditions. If you are a customer in the Crop Insurance Program, you can use annual crop or tame hay acres for feed purposes. Through the pre-harvest appraisal process, you can bale or graze existing crop or hay land. To accomplish this, you would:
- Request a yield appraisal on the acres to be put to another use.
- When a pre-harvest appraisal is conducted, SCIC will determine the harvestable production of the crop in the field.
- You can then decide to put that crop to an alternate use (e.g. bale or graze) or withdraw the pre-harvest appraisal if you want to take the crop to harvest.
The Crop Insurance Program has measures in place to ensure your coverage is not severely impacted by consecutive years of lower production. Yield cushioning reduces the impact of consecutive poor yields by limiting or “cushioning” the decrease in your yield coverage. Yield cushioning includes annual and forage crops.
The AgriStability Program also provides options if you are looking to access a portion of your benefit early. Through the interim benefit, you can get 50 per cent of your estimated final benefit.
As each farming situation is unique, you should contact your local Crop Insurance office to review your options, the impact on your coverage, and the requirements for the option you choose.
SCIC has staff available to help and is prepared to move adjusters around the province should additional resources be needed in specific areas.
For more information, please contact your local Crop Insurance office.
Using Alternate Feed Sources
Contact your Regional Livestock and Forage Specialists for information on forage options, pasture management, interpretation of feed and water test results, livestock requirements, and nutrition.
Water Quality Testing
Water quality can change quickly in hot, dry weather. Contact your local Regional Office for assistance with water testing. More information about water quality and testing can be found in our recent Dangers in Dugouts and TDS and Electrical Conductivity blog posts.