Gov’t to assist producers after weather’s wrath

It’s still raining in the Cariboo.

It’s still raining in the Cariboo.

Wacky weather seems to be the norm around the world thus far this summer; either too cold and wet, or too hot and dry, or so it appears.

In the southern States, one state-governor was pleading (seriously) for the public to pray for rain and relief from the mind-numbing, killing heat wave. In one county the temperature has not dipped below 32 degrees C for 46 straight days.

The cattle in many southern regions are bereft of forage of any kind as the parched Earth is so dry it has cracks in it; many owners have no choice but to sell the cattle.

In the Cariboo (the grazing is excellent) the continuous precipitation is hampering the harvest of many bountiful feed crops, but perhaps a few ranchers could use this unforeseen down-time to apply themselves to some of the less enjoyable aspects of the business (paper work). It pays to pay attention.

On July 12 in Vancouver federal ag-minister Gerry Ritz and B.C. ag-minister Don McRae jointly announced two new AgriRecovery programs ($5 million dollars) to address the damages (B.C. vegetable farmers/ cattle and bison producers) caused by the extreme weather of 2010 and into spring of 2011.

The 2011 Canada — B.C. Feed Assistance and Pasture Restoration Initiative will assist cattle (bison) producers dealing with the impacts of the flooding, fire and drought (2010) with a feed assistance payment of $1.02 per cow/calf pair for each day the animals were required to be off pasture lands damaged by the afore-mentioned conditions. There will be some cost-recovery funding available for reseeding impacted areas ($35 per hectare/$14.16 per acre) and other assistance on a case-by-case basis. Eligible areas include Bella Coola, Cariboo-Chilcotin and Central Interior regions.

More information is available at 1-877-343-2767 or www.gov.bc.ca.

Liz Twan is a rancher and Tribune columnist.