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Agriculture

New grain dryer program for farmers hit with tough harvest

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grain dryer

New grain dryer program for farmers hit with tough harvest

February 10, 2020

A new grant program is now available to help grain farmers upgrade their grain handling systems.

New grain dryer program for farmers hit with tough harvest

Efficient Grain Dryer Program helps farmers stay competitive after tough year.

The Efficient Grain Dryer Program is funded through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and will help cover costs for eligible grain dryer improvements. Applicants will be able to choose equipment that makes sense for the size and volume of their agri-business and improve energy efficiency within their operations.

“I have a deep appreciation for the efforts being made by Canadian farmers to care for the land and environment. It is their legacy to their children. A sixth generation farmer recently told me, ‘if you don’t care for the land, you’re not in business.’ We all know how hard 2019 was for many farmers, and that weather is increasingly unpredictable. Our government is listening and finding solutions for farmers.”

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“Last harvest was one of the toughest for Alberta farmers. Poor weather, trade irritants, rail strikes and a carbon tax have all hurt farmers through no fault of their own. This new program will help farmers remain competitive and keep producing the best high-quality food in the world.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

The program will be retroactive to April 1, 2018 to accommodate almost 100 applicants who have been waiting since that time and for those who may not have known about the program and purchased eligible equipment in the last two years.

Quick facts

  • $2 million dollars is available under the Efficient Grain Dryer Program.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors.
  • Eligible expenses will be cost-shared, with 50 per cent funding from the grant and 50 per cent funding from the applicant.
  • The 2019 crop season was challenging for many Alberta producers.
    • The season started with a dry spring and with variable weather over the summer. There was a lack of rainfall in the southern and eastern parts of the province and the extreme northern Peace Region, for example, and a long spell of cool, wet weather in other parts of the province.
    • Cold temperatures, snow and excess moisture in most parts of the province in the fall resulted in a long challenging harvest for crop and forage producers.
  • Based on the final Alberta Crop Report dated Dec. 3, about 10 per cent of crops across Alberta were left in the fields to be harvested in spring 2020.
    • Unharvested crops vary widely across the province – about two per cent remain in the fields in the southern region, seven per cent in central and northwest Alberta and 13 per cent in the northeast. In the Peace Region, about 32 per cent of crops are left to be combined in the spring.

Agriculture

Canada’s Feedlots Facing an Uncertain Future

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Canada’s Feedlots Facing an Uncertain Future

The coronavirus has taken a huge toll on the North American meat industry. As the virus continues to claim the lives of workers and workplace conditions become unsafe, many meat processing plants simply haven’t been able to adequately staff their facilities. Subsequently, many plants and feedlots — including leading brands in Alberta — have temporarily shut down operations.

Other big names that haven’t experienced outbreaks in their facilities have managed to remain open or at least reopen and function at a lower capacity. However, even these cattle feedlots and processing plants are facing an uncertain future as the pandemic drags on.

A Dip in Demand

In addition to facility outbreaks, a dip in demand for pork, poultry and beef has also resulted in major setbacks for feedlots and slaughterhouses. Since officials issued stay-at-home orders three months ago, restaurants and butchers haven’t been ordering as much meat from big-industry meat processors. Instead, with no guests to serve or customers to whom they might sell prime cuts, these businesses have dramatically cut their orders.

Of course, the meat industry wasn’t expecting this sudden decrease in demand. As cows continued to birth calves and inventory built up in feedlots, these companies were left with no other choice than to cull thousands of animals per day and discard the carcasses. Obviously, this represents a massive amount of waste as well as a huge loss of profit.

Selling Calves

Many small farmers and large industrial developments also worry they’ll lose money this fall when it comes time to sell calves. These cow-calf operations usually generate a decent amount of revenue when the economy is good. In light of recent events, however, market conditions aren’t exactly prime for selling calves.

Moreover, as feedlots reach and exceed maximum capacities, the animals will most likely become more anxious. This increase in stress levels will negatively impact their immune systems and, ultimately, the quality of meat that comes from them. Consequently, this fall’s herd may not be as healthy as the last, meaning they’ll sell for much less and leave feedlots and meat processors in the red.

Assistance and Adjustments

Early last month, the Canadian government announced it would provide $252 million in federal assistance to the agri-food sector. The vast majority of this federal aid will go to processing plants in hopes of better-protecting workers and helping facilities function at full capacity once again. Still, as long as demand is low, it’s unlikely the industry will bounce back quickly — even with financial assistance. At best, this money will help keep the industry afloat until restaurants and eateries fully reopen.

Additionally, meat processing plants that have remained open or resumed operations are beginning to consciously cut their inventory and production output to meet the decrease in demand. While this will help the meat industry, it may cause issues for fast-food chains and restaurants that may experience shortages as a result.

Is the Worst Yet to Come?

Over the past few weeks, some major meat processors and cattle feedlots have begun to reopen. Already, they’re back to processing 60,000 cattle per week. However, prices aren’t rising for consumers, thus showcasing the resiliency of the Canadian food system. In the coming months, bottlenecks should stop and business should be able to return to normal — as long as a second and third wave of coronavirus cases don’t sweep the nation.

In the future, the meat industry might invest more in expanding local and regional food supply chains. This way, if Cargill, National Beef, JBS and Tyson — which own more than 80% of the beef supply — shut down again, small ranchers could provide meat for their communities. Thus, the industry wouldn’t face such an uncertain future if another pandemic were to occur.

Canadian Federal Government Taking Measures to Reduce Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

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Agriculture

Red Deer – Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen grills federal government on carbon tax affect on farmers

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From a Facebook post of Earl Dreeshen

May 14 Questions

Today I questioned the Federal Agricutlure Minister on the Liberal's anti Agriculture policies including the Carbon Tax.

Posted by Earl Dreeshen on Thursday, May 14, 2020

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august, 2020

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