Feds offer no guarantees to Sask. cattle producers

By Nigel Maxwell
August 31, 2018 - 5:00pm

It appears Saskatchewan cattle producers, facing a feed shortage, may have to wait a few more weeks, to hear if they will be eligible for a tax break this year.

farmnewsNOW reached out to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for a response regarding calls for a federal tax deferral. If approved, the producers could defer a portion of their sale proceeds from this year to next year to avoid a tax hit. According to an email statement Friday, Aug. 31.the federal government does not have an answer as of yet.

"A list of Prescribed Drought and Flood Regions will be completed in the early fall, for those regions where the criteria have been met. The list of Prescribed Drought and Flood Regions is updated to include additional regions in late fall/early winter once finalized forage yield information is available from provincial crop insurance agencies."

According to the statement, prescribed regions are designated when forage yields are less than 50 per cent of the long-term average as a result of drought or flooding in a particular year. To be designated, the affected area must have recognized geo-political boundaries (for example municipalities or counties) and be large enough to have an impact on the industry. Assessments occur throughout the growing season and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada designates regions that meet the criteria for tax deferral. The designations are put in force by the Minister of Finance through an amendment to the Income Tax Act regulations.

Both the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association (SCA) and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), have been quite vocal in recent weeks regarding a need for an immediate answer so producers can plan ahead.

SCA Board Chair Rick Toney told farmnewsNOW last week there are producers whose pastures are gone and they have to move them. He said he also heard stories from some producers who are moving their yearlings up to a month earlier than they normally would.

"There's guys selling 60 or 40 per cent of their herd because of the feed stacks, there's guys talking about moving cattle to northern Saskatchewan where the feed is," he said.


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On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell

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