Manitoba has announced compensation for farmers affected from water, whether in the form of floods or blizzards.

A late-season storm in April brought heavy snow to Manitoba, resulting in some 2,000 livestock animals being killed.

Compensation for the number of head lost will be based on market value, Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) Minister Stan Struthers stated in a news release.

"The late-season blizzard that hit on April 29 and 30 packed a strong punch, killing many animals in our province," he stated.

"The program we are announcing today will help producers recover from this loss and reinforce the important role the livestock industry plays in Manitoba's economy."

Eligible animals include beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, elk, sheep, goats, llamas and horses used for the production of meat or pregnant mare urine. Purebred livestock will be compensated at a rate 1.5 times higher than commercial production.

Meanwhile, farmers impacted by flooding in the Shoal Lakes area will be compensated for their losses in both 2010 and 2011, Struthers stated.

"We know that a lot of hay and pasture land has been lost to flood waters and we are acting now to support farmers who are worried about feeding and pasturing their livestock.

"Flood waters have been an ongoing problem for producers in this area, but with the measures we are putting in place today, we are committing to providing these farm families with the help they need."

The program will include flood-related compensation assistance for:

  • Producers who lost income of hay and pasture land in 2010 and 2011.
  • Transportation costs related to moving animals and feed that was threatened by flood waters.

"We will continue to work with the municipalities and producers around the lake on short-, medium- and long-term solutions to flooding around the Shoal Lakes," Struthers said.

"There is unfortunately no quick fix to the high-water levels, but we have heard clearly from producers in the area that they need immediate financial assistance and we are delivering on that now as we continue to assess longer-term options."

Applications are available at local MAFRI GO offices and must be completed by June 30.  For more details on the program, producers are asked to contact their local GO office.