Help coming for strawberry fields hit by virus
N.S. lost nearly half of its early crop to new sickness which causes plants to shrivel
Money is on the way for farmers hit by a devastating strawberry virus that wiped out a significant portion of Nova Scotia's crop this year.
The provincial government is partnering with the federal government to start the AgriRecovery initiative — a fund that includes up to $2.3 million for strawberry producers.
The viruses are spread by an aphid, which went undetected by a provincial government certification program. About half of Nova Scotia's early crop was destroyed this year.
Some fields lost 90 per cent of their crops.
Strawberry fields forever
The money is to help producers pull their crops and replace them with healthy plants.
"Strawberry production in Nova Scotia accounts for seven per cent of Canada's overall strawberry output and is a major source of nursery plants for the rest of Canada," Greg Kerr, member of Parliament for West Nova, said in a release.
The money, which will be handled by the provincial government, will be sent to producers after they begin replanting crops.
Payments are expected to begin in the new year. Growers will be paid between $1,900 and $6,500 per acre, depending on their growing practices.
In the Great Village area outside of Truro, growers pulled all the crops in an effort to eradicate the disease.
In August, the Nova Scotia government announced it would provide up to $2 million in loans to help farmers. Some farmers were critical of the announcement, saying that was far too little to make a difference.