PROVINCE TAKING ACTION FOR DROUGHT AFFECTED LIVESTOCK FARMERS
BROCKVILLE – Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark and Ontario’s Government for the People are standing up for livestock farmers devastated by the severe rain shortfalls this summer.
MPP Clark has joined Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in calling on the federal government to activate the Livestock Tax Deferral in areas impacted by severely dry conditions this past summer, including Leeds and Grenville.
“The federal government needs to act immediately to provide the tax deferral and help cattle producers in my riding and other parts of the province hit hard by this year’s drought,” said Clark. “I’m proud that our government has once again taken a strong stand to support Ontario’s hard-working farmers and their families. We depend on farmers to feed our province and sustain our rural economy and way of life, so government needs to be there for them when they need us.”
The Livestock Tax Deferral would allow producers who sold at least 15 per cent of their breeding herd due to the dry weather in 2018 to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year when they replenish their livestock. Beef Farmers of Ontario requested the Livestock Tax Deferral to help their members deal with the tough conditions.
“Our government is taking action and standing up for our farmers. Farmers already face so many challenges on the job and the effect that drought can have on pasture lands and forage production forces them to make difficult herd-management decisions,” said Minister Hardeman.
“We want to make life easier and more affordable for farmers, which is why I am requesting the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada designate regions in Ontario that were significantly impacted by drought conditions as eligible for the Livestock Tax Deferral provision. This is another small way we are working to put more money in the pockets of farmers and keep Ontario open for business,” added Minister Hardeman.
Athens area beef producer and Beef Farmers of Ontario board member Kim Sytsma praised the provincial government’s action.
“Beef farmers of Leeds and Grenville that have had to downsize their cow herd because of lack of feed due to this past summer’s drought will certainly appreciate Minister Hardeman asking the federal government for the tax deferral program,” said Sytsma.
“A tax deferral will help any beef farmer in a taxable position and will also be helpful to beef farmers’ cash flow to replace the cows at a future date.”
Sytsma explained a tax deferral is the program the federal government uses in the case of drought where farmers and ranchers must downsize because of lack of winter feed.
“The challenge to the beef industry is once the cattle leave the farm they very rarely ever go back to the farm. Hopefully, beef farmers had Ontario Forage Insurance and thankfully Minister Hardeman has made changes to that program so it will serve beef and forage producers much better in their time of need,” said Sytsma.
To receive this federal tax deferral, a prescribed area must have a recognized geo-political boundary (for example municipalities or counties), be large enough to have an impact on the industry, and experience a reduction in forage production that is at least 50 per cent of the long-term average.
A final list of Prescribed Drought and Flood Regions for 2018 will be made in the coming months when finalized forage yield information is available. Farmers can check the AAFC website for more information: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/programs-and-services/drought-watch/livestock-tax-deferral-provision/?id=1463574780220