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Hay West receives more federal funding

Hay West receives more federal funding

Hay West was initially launched nearly two decades ago during the last major drought to affect cattle producers on the Prairies and was followed by the Hay East program in 2012 to reciprocate the help from fellow producers to their eastern counterparts.  |  William DeKay photo

Hay West was initially launched nearly two decades ago during the last major drought to affect cattle producers on the Prairies and was followed by the Hay East program in 2012 to reciprocate the help from fellow producers to their eastern counterparts. | William DeKay photo

Ottawa is committing $3 million to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s Hay West program to assist drought-plagued western ranchers get adequate feed following a devastating year for the industry on the Prairies.

The announcement today from Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau comes on top of $1 million the feds previously committed to the program to help transport hay from Eastern Canada to the West.

Hay West was initially launched nearly two decades ago during the last major drought to affect cattle producers on the Prairies and was followed by the Hay East program in 2012 to reciprocate the help from fellow producers to their eastern counterparts.

With dry weather once again descending on the West this year, the need for feed is again critical, said the minister.

“The relaunch of Hay West 2021 by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is helping to meet that need,” said Bibeau. “Since August, Hay West has shipped 5.6 million pounds of hay from the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario to farmers in need.”

That feed has gone to help feed 17,000 cattle, according to the CFA, but more will be required to minimize long-term impacts from the drought.

Transportation of hay to the West is expected to continue into the spring with funding also coming from Farm Credit Canada, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Prince Edward Island government.

Canadian National Railway has committed $125,000 to Hay West in addition to matching donations up to another $125,000.

Contact alex.mccuaig@producer.com


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