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Minister announces ag assistance

e provincial government has released details of the 2011 Manitoba AgriRecovery Program that will provide Manitoba livestock and crop farmers with support to help them recover from the devastating effects of this year's unprecedented and significant flooding of 2011.

"These are challenging times for our farmers and with the commitment we are making today, we are signalling they are not alone. Our government will not turn its back on farmers; we are here to support them and help them recover from the damage the water has left behind," said Agriculture Minister Stan Struthers. "Farmers can't wait any longer for help and that's why we are coming through for them when they need it."

The 2011 Manitoba AgriRecovery Program includes:

* $30 per acre for unseeded and flooded-out acres;

* assistance for forage shortfall for flooding on pasture and hay land, for immediate and overwinter needs;

* transportation assistance based on costs associated with moving feed to animals and animals to feed;

* $15 per acre to plant green feed by July 22, 2011;

* $50 per acre for forage restoration assistance to restore and reseed tame hay and forage seed acres damaged by flood water;

* infrastructure rehabilitation and flood-mitigation assistance for feedlots, dairy farmers, and potato and horticultural operations that suffered damage from the flood; and

* assistance for nurseries, vegetable and fruit producers, and leafcutter bee producers for lost perishable inventory.

The program will help producers take specific action to recover from unseeded crop acres and pasture/hay shortages stemming from the flooding and excess moisture across the province, the minister said. It will also assist producers to deal with the additional costs associated with purchasing the feed needed to maintain their herds over winter and restoring damaged forage acres in a timely manner, he added.

The minister also noted that, due to the scope of the flooding on farmland, no deductibles will be applied on eligible assistance under the 2011 Manitoba AgriRecovery Program, adding this program is above and beyond crop insurance or excess moisture insurance already available to Manitoba farmers and complements core programs such as AgriStability and AgriInvest.

It is anticipated this program will have a total price tag of $194 million, said Struthers. He said the province is actively pursuing negotiations with the federal government to cost share this program at the standard 60-40 level.

The new Manitoba AgriRecovery Program will be administered by the Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. Information can be found on the government website at www.gov.mb.ca or from local GO offices.


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