Keystone Agricultural Producers continue to lobby the federal and provincial governments to assist cattle producers suffering form the effects of excess moisture.

Several resolutions related to the state of the cattle industry in the province were passed at KAP's General Council meeting last week.

"Winter is approaching and we need to find feed for these cattle, and people need to make their decisions for what they're going to do for winter," says Rob Brunel, KAP's new president. "They need to know whether there will be assistance to buy feed or opportunities to defer taxes if  forced to reduce or sell their herds."

Resolutions passed by KAP call for tax deferrals for producers who are forced to downsize their herds, a per head payment to cover repeated annual losses and the establishment of a program to help producers with sourcing feed. "The problem with a feed freight assistance program is that it sometimes is just absorbed in the cost of freight. The idea of this resolution is maybe it's not a payment, but maybe the availability of MAFRI staff to help coordinator where feed is," says Brunel.

According to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Stan Struthers, a cattle producer support package has been approved by the province and has been held up by the approval process in Ottawa. The Manitoba Cattle Producers Association and KAP have been lobbying the governments for excess moisture support since late spring.

Meantime, KAP's General Council Meeting last week included major changes to the organization's leadership. Ian Wishart announced his resignation as president. A motion was passed at the meeting to make Brunel, formerly vice-president, president until KAP's annual general meeting in January. "Ian has definitely served Manitoba farmers well in the time he spent with KAP. He'll be greatly missed," says Brunel.

~ Tuesday, October 19, 2010 ~