Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Saskatchewan ranchers backed for runoff control

Funding on offer for earth-moving work

Cow-calf producers in Saskatchewan may be able to get cost-shared funds from the federal/provincial Farm Stewardship Program to build ponds, ditches, dikes or berms to collect or manage runoff.

The province and federal government on Tuesday announced such work now qualifies as a beneficial management practice (BMP) covered under the program.

Eligible beef cow-calf producers can apply for up to 75 per cent of project costs, up to $15,000 max, for “development of preventative run-off control measures.”

The new BMP “will encourage beef producers to implement surface water protection on cow-calf operations,” the governments said in a release.

Applicants will need to seek pre-approval for funding before the work in question begins on a property. The pre-approval application deadline will be Aug. 31, 2022.

Applications at that point need to include a “detailed site diagram of the project and area requiring run-off control,” including winter feeding areas, corrals, pens, manure storage, composting areas and existing water sources such as wells, dugouts and/or nearby watercourses.

Approved projects must submit their claims by no later than Dec. 31, 2022 for payment; eligible invoices can be dated no earlier than April 1, 2021.

Generally, the program will cover costs of runoff control works on new or existing livestock confinement, winter feeding or sorting and handling sites. Technical, surveying and/or engineering costs may be eligible for funding even if a project doesn’t go ahead, the province said.

Eligible costs include work and approved materials to build holding ponds, ditches or berms, re-grade pens or otherwise divert or collect runoff, as well as related well head protection and extension of well cribbing. Projects such as dugouts, household lagoons and/or field drainage are not covered.

“I feel for the many Saskatchewan producers dealing with moderate to extreme drought conditions across much of the province this year,” federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in Tuesday’s release.

“Producers can now access this program which will help them to protect their valuable water sources and support their adoption of sustainable management practices.”

Other BMP streams already eligible under the federal/provincial program include grazing management in native rangeland and riparian areas; permanent forage; drainage stewardship; invasive plant biocontrol; and livestock stewardship, each with their funding level percentage and total claim limits. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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