Emergency help for beef and hog farmers

Beef Cattle on a Chatham-Kent farm. (File photo by Simon Crouch)

The Canadian and Ontario governments are putting up $10 million in emergency help for beef and hog farmers.

The money is to help cover the increased costs of feeding market ready cattle and hogs due to COVID-19 related processing delays, while redirecting surplus pork products to help those in need.

The beef cattle set-aside program will provide beef farmers with up to $5 million in support. Farmers can claim $2 per head of cattle per day to help pay for additional maintenance costs should they have to keep their market-ready animals on their farms for extended periods of time.

The hog sector support program will also provide hog farmers with up to $5 million to help cover additional maintenance costs. Ontario is also providing up to $1.5 million to process and package surplus pork for food banks, to provide those in need with fresh, locally produced pork products. This will assist the pork processing industry with managing capacity while helping those in need.

“I want to thank my friend and colleague Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, for his hard work on this file. This emergency assistance is very important for the beef and hog sectors in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and across Ontario,” said Walker. “Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, our government has been taking decisive action to protect the health and well-being of all Ontarians, as well as support the agri-food sector to keep our food supply chain strong.”

Both the beef cattle set-aside and hog sector support programs are being offered through AgriRecovery initiatives, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The provincial contributions are part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.