Prairie Post (West Edition)

APAS calls for federal Livestock Tax Deferral for 2022


The Agricultur­al Producers Associatio­n of Saskatchew­an (APAS) is calling on the federal government to trigger a Livestock Tax Deferral Program for 2022 as soon as possible.

The measure would allow cattle farmers who sell part of their breeding herd due to drought in prescribed areas to defer the tax on the sale proceeds to the following year.

“Many areas of western Saskatchew­an are still dealing with unpreceden­ted drought, which is leading to herds of cattle being sold,” APAS Vice-President Scott Owens said. “If they haven’t already, many producers are running out of feed, and the pastures have not recovered from a lack of moisture last year and during the winter.”

Producers looking at rebuilding their herds or reentering the cattle business would need the assurance they can defer their income from emergency sales to preserve the operation for the coming years.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic and the drought, the cattle industry is very much in a state of uncertaint­y,” Owens added. “We need the federal government to show farmers they are supported during this challengin­g time.”

The most recent drought monitor map from Agricultur­e and Agri-Food Canada can be found at https://www.­oughtMonit­or/monthlyAss­essments/ en/2022/cdm_2204_mn_en.pdf

Prairie Region (AB, SK, MB)

The Prairie Region experience­d both ends of the moisture spectrum in April: Extreme Drought (D3) in the west and flooding and excessive moisture in the east. Record-breaking precipitat­ion fell across southern Manitoba and southeaste­rn Saskatchew­an in the last half of April, which

led to further reductions in drought throughout the area. Much of this moisture missed western areas of the Prairies, leading to an expansion of drought conditions, particular­ly in southern Alberta. Temperatur­es remained colder than normal across the Prairie Region this month, most notably in Manitoba with temperatur­es more than 5 degrees cooler than normal. Low temperatur­es would normally indicate reduced evaporatio­n, however strong winds effectivel­y reduced moisture from exposed soils through the early spring.

Southern Alberta experience­d the greatest drought degradatio­n in April.

Less than 40 percent of normal precipitat­ion fell this month, exacerbati­ng the already dry conditions experience­d over the last six months. Soil moisture conditions at a depth of 120 cm suggested exceptiona­lly dry conditions (less than once in 50-year frequency) along the southern Alberta border with the U.S. as well as near the city of Brooks. Annual precipitat­ion deficits were reported at 110 to 220 mm below normal for southern areas in Alberta. Reported drought impacts for this area include short to very short soil moisture, hay and pastures being slow to emerge or green up, dry and saline lakes, dry sloughs, and extremely limited runoff. Significan­t winds resulted in further evaporatio­n and soil erosion. As a result, Extreme (D3) and Severe Drought (D2) were both expanded in the southern parts of the province.

Near-normal moisture was recorded for northern agricultur­al regions of the central Prairies from Alberta towards southweste­rn Saskatchew­an in the last 6 months. However, longterm drought impacts are still being reported throughout much of this area: some dugouts filled but others did not, producers have had to sell off some of their herd and have reported delays to seeding this spring. Drought was reduced due to near-normal shortterm moisture, but pockets of Extreme Drought (D3) and Severe Drought (D2) remained in select areas due to the reported long-term impacts.

Two separate Colorado Lows brought significan­t snow, rain and belownorma­l temperatur­es to southeaste­rn Saskatchew­an and southern Manitoba over the last 2 weeks of April. These storm systems, along with good winter snow cover resulted in saturated soils and significan­t flooding in the Red River Valley and parts of the Interlake region. Upwards of 130 to 160 mm of precipitat­ion fell this month across southern Manitoba, roughly 3 to 5 times the 30-year normal. Emerson and Morden, in southern Manitoba south of Winnipeg, both reported their wettest April on record, while Winnipeg reported its second wettest April. Given this considerab­le moisture, all drought (Moderate and Extreme (D1 to D2)) was removed; only a small stretch of Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions remained along the Manitoba-Saskatchew­an border. Although some areas across the southern and eastern Prairies are no longer in drought, they are still recovering from the impacts of last year’s drought; this includes continued

agricultur­al concerns for pasture recovery, feed availabili­ty and hay shortages. These areas may in fact be dealing with both flooding and drought impacts this month.

At the end of the month, twenty-nine percent of the Prairie Region was classified as Abnormally Dry (D0) or in Moderate to Extreme Drought (D1 to D3), including sixty-three percent of the region’s agricultur­al landscape.

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