VICTORIA, B.C. – The provincial and federal governments announced several support programs to help farmers and ranchers who are suffering through wildfires, prolonged heat and drought in 2021.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries announced on Tuesday that a federal-provincial AgriRecovery response will help producers who are struggling to recover expenses from fire and drought.

“The B.C. government has a dedicated team working closely with ranchers and farmers to respond to emergencies like wildfires and to create programs that help preserve their businesses and our local food supply,” said B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Lana Popham.

“The losses B.C. farmers and ranchers have experienced this year have been heartbreaking, and recovering from them will take time, commitment and support, for which the B.C. government will be there for the whole way.”

Federal  Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie- Claude Bibeau says the federal government is working to get B.C. farm families the supports they need as soon as possible.

“By unlocking more AgriStability funds through interim payments and invoking late participation, we can get more cash in hand for farmers who are making tough decisions in a difficult situation,” said Bibeau. “We will continue to support farm families to get them through the challenges we face today, and position them for a sustainable future.”

By implementing “late participation” in the federal-provincial AgriStability program for 2021, the Province is ensuring additional and immediate support for farmers and ranchers, says a release.

This program gives funding to farmers experiencing income declines due to crop or livestock losses, or poor market conditions. By allowing late participation, B.C. farmers have until December 31st, 2022 to apply for enrolment.

In cases where farmers and ranchers have suffered losses to their available feed supply, they may be eligible for hay through the Province’s Emergency Feed Program to care for animals.

“The 2021 Wildfire Emergency Feed Program will provide emergency feed support for up to 14 days for commercial livestock businesses unable to access their normal feed supply, or if their current forage has been burned or is unsafe. The program will also support businesses forced to use forage or feed resources normally required to feed livestock through the rest of their yearly production cycle,” reads a release.

For more information about the 2021 Wildfire Emergency Feed Program, go to the B.C. government website.

To enrol in AgriStability, visit the program website.