CALGARY — The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association says it welcomes news that the federal government will deliver tax relief to producers struck by natural disasters across the Prairie provinces in 2008 and 2009.
President Brad Wildeman says the move will give producers with tools “for making well-informed business decisions during times of crisis.”
Wildeman says restoring financial flexibility until operations are set up again can help.
The association says it also recommends access to temporary financial assistance for producers that may need to truck in feed or transport their cattle to pastures located outside the disaster area.
Earlier this week, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced farmers who sell breeding stock in 2009 will be eligible for a tax deferral on the sales for one year.
The government hopes that will help producers who want to reduce their herds now because they are concerned about having enough to feed them.
It will also help them financially when they replenish their breeding stock the following year.
Earlier this year, the cattle association worked with the federal and provincial governments to activate a disaster recovery program for producers in Manitoba’s flood-ravaged areas.
With ongoing excess moisture in the 2009 growing season preventing crop seeding, these same producers face a major challenge in feeding their cattle again this year.
Producers affected by these severe drought conditions feel relief since their respective governments declared disasters in some areas.
Wildeman said it is critical for individual operators to have options for making sound choices which lead toward full restoration of their business.
“Our producers’ ability to recover from disaster is crucial to the sustainability of food supplies for Canadians. It’s encouraging to know that our federal government recognizes the importance of equipping producers with tools to effectively manage their bottom line, particularly when uncontrollables such as extreme weather are at play.”