Drought-affected producers can start preparing for CALFA applications
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) is currently finalizing the details on the rollout of government support for drought-affected farms and ranches. The program is being called the 2021 Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance Initiative (CALFA). Producers can expect to apply in early September.
On August 6, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced an AgriRecovery response, the 2021 Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance Initiative, to help address the extraordinary costs being incurred by Alberta’s livestock producers because of reduced grazing capacity caused by prolonged dry weather and extreme high temperatures.
The response provides support and cash flow for Alberta’s livestock producers and beekeepers to cover extraordinary expenses incurred to feed livestock. The federal government is currently evaluating the response.
AgriRecovery responses are cost-shared 60-40 between federal and provincial governments and are designed to cover extraordinary costs not covered by existing business risk management programs, such as those incurred due to extreme drought conditions or other natural disasters.
The Government of Alberta has:
- announced a $136 million commitment under the AgriRecovery framework; and
- asked the federal government to provide $204 million for a total relief package of $340 million.
The Alberta Lamb Producers has and continues to:
- Advocate on behalf of our industry for the inclusion of sheep, as we know it is extremely important for our producers to have access to these program support to maintain their operations during the extreme weather conditions.
2021 Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance Initiative
The 2021 Canada-Alberta Livestock Feed Assistance Initiative (CALFA) will be offered in two stages.
- A proposed initial payment of $19 per head for sheep (conversions for other livestock can be found on AFSC website), pending federal funding and final approval.
- A proposed secondary payment of $21 per head, pending federal funding and final approval.
*Although the Provincial share is approved ($136 million), these numbers are subject to the federal $204 million contribution (60% share).
How to prepare for CALFA
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) is finalizing CALFA details and will share them as soon as possible.
In the meantime, producers should prepare for a smooth application process by:
- Ensuring you have an AFSC Connect account, and direct deposit.
(For those who aren’t currently AFSC clients, AFSC asks that you sign up for an AFSC Connect account, and stay tuned for directions to sign up for direct deposit to receive program payments.)
- Preparing an inventory of breeding females on hand as of August 6, 2021.
- Keeping records of any expenses incurred for drought-related costs, including feeding livestock, up to December 31, 2021.
- Checking AFSC and ALP’s website for updates and following AFSC and Alberta Lamb Producers on social media.
AFSC expects to have an application form available for producers in early September.
Farming and ranching can be hard at any time. If you notice signs that you are struggling, reach out to your primary caregiver, or call 2-1-1 (where available) or look at the Do More Agriculture Foundation.
Need to talk? Here are some resources from across Canada
If you notice signs that a friend or family member is struggling, reach out to them.
Supporting each other – Moving beyond the “how are you?” reflex
Signs to watch for:
- Changes in appetite.
- Changes in sleeping patterns – having trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping far longer than usual.
- Increased substance use.
- Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or being trapped.
- Anxiety, agitation, uncontrolled anger, and/or dramatic mood changes.
- Withdrawal from friends, family, community.
- Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities.
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566. If someone is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. You can also find additional resources on The Do More Agriculture Foundation website.