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. agr.gc.ca/atlas/maps_cartes/canadianDroughtMonitor/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.