Tom and Colleen Hodgson’s property on the Farwell Canyon Road in Big Creek where Twinflower Creek runs through and flooded in July. Their driveway and the road were covered with water and mud, cutting them off from accessing the community of Big Creek. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo.

Assistance in purchasing hay for Cariboo-Chilcotin ranchers

‘This program could be the difference of many ranches remaining viable’

Ranchers in the Cariboo-Chilcotin who have to purchase more hay than they normally would, following flooding in the summer and fall, can get $45.50 per ton of hay through the 2019 BC Forage and Transportation Initiative. Historic flooding levels in July in Big Creek had left ranchers grappling with the after-effects.

“After a very trying summer and fall in 2019, this freight top-up will help lessen the burden on ranchers in the Cariboo-Chilcotin who are faced with unprecedented losses of fall grazing and winter hay shortages due to flooding,” said Cordy Cox, president, Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association. “I appreciate the efforts made by Minister Popham and her ministry. This program could be the difference of many ranches remaining viable for the future or having to sell out.”

RELATED: Impact of summer’s flooding still rippling through Big Creek community

In addition, where ranchers find it more economically viable to move animals to alternative feed sources rather than transport purchased feed home, assistance with the freight costs for moving the animals will be provided. This assistance is in addition to production insurance claims.

Ministry of Agriculture staff have been in ongoing discussions with the Cariboo Cattlemen Association, the B.C. Cattlement Association, the Cariboo Regional District and more than 20 impacted producers in the area, according to Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham.

“Ranchers are synonymous with the Cariboo, and the B.C. government is doing more to support their recovery from this year’s floods, just like we did from the wildfires in 2017 and 2018,” she said. “Ministry staff were on the ground in Big Creek, helping assess impacted properties shortly after the floodwater subsided this July.”

The additional assistance, estimated to be several hundred thousand dollars, is designed to offer more support to help ranchers through this winter and a challenging feeding period.

Ranchers who experienced feed losses due to this year’s flooding and have ordered additional forage to feed their livestock can apply for support by calling 1 888 332-3352 or visiting: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/agriinvest


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