After a natural disaster, AgriRecovery helps producers recover extraordinary costs beyond what is available through other financial assistance programs.

The 2020 Canada-Alberta Fed Cattle Feed Cost Offset Initiative includes an immediate Fed Cattle Feed Assistance payment and a Bid Set-Aside

This joint Canada-Alberta AgriRecovery initiative has two components – first, the Fed Cattle Feed Assistance, a retroactive payment for cattle set aside from May 1 to June 30 and second, a Bid Set-Aside process for cattle set aside starting June 29, 2020. The bid component of the initiative will continue until the initiative’s funds are distributed, the need to set aside animals no longer exists or the end date of March 31, 2021. This initiative is subject to a signed contribution agreement by both levels of government. Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) will administer both stages of the program in Alberta.

Overall, the initiative compensates producers for the extraordinary cost of keeping slaughter-ready cattle on maintenance rations due to industry disruptions related to COVID-19. Beef producers can hold on to market-ready cattle for several weeks, allowing the supply of animals to more evenly match demand and processing capacity.

Eligible Participant: To be eligible for either component of the initiative, the producer must be a Canadian resident that reports farm income for tax purposes in Alberta and is actively feeding the eligible cattle in Alberta. For the second stage of the initiative (bid set aside or bidding process), producers must commit to keep cattle from slaughter for 63 days. Eligible producers can choose to participate in one or both stages of the initiative.

Eligible animals: Eligible animals are slaughter-ready fed cattle, eligible for grade “A” designation, where the average net weight of the lot of animals at the time they are accepted for set-aside must be a minimum of 1,300 pounds net weight for heifers and a minimum of 1,400 pounds net weight for steers. Cows, bulls and cull animals are not eligible under this initiative.

Fed Cattle Set Aside bid process explained

First stage: Fed Cattle Feed assistance

The first stage of the initiative – the Fed Cattle Feed Assistance component – includes retroactive benefits to help compensate producers for the cost of keeping these animals on maintenance rations. The application period for this component ran from June 12 to June 30.

For each lot, the producers had to provide information about the premise ID where the lot is located, the lot number, number of animals in the lot, type of animal (fat steer/fat heifer) in the lot, average net per head weight in pounds, the original targeted marketing date and the actual or estimated marketing date.

An initial payment will be issued the week of June 22 for those applications received by June 22, with the second payment issued in July. All applications received after June 22 will receive only one payment, issued the week of July 6.

Second stage: The Fed Set-Aside

This component involves a weekly bid process that producers can choose to participate in each week. All components of this process will occur online, and producers will need an AFSC ID and an AFSC Connect account to participate in the weekly bidding process. Once your AFSC account is set up, you can log in to AFSC Connect and complete a one-time registration to participate in the fed set-aside bid process. For help with this, call AFSC at 1.877.899.2372 or reach out to any branch office.

Producers can apply to participate in the Fed Set Aside Component (Bid Set Aside process) at any time. You must ensure you have completed all the steps – AFSC ID, AFSC Connect account, registration process, accept the program Terms and Conditions – by 4:30 p.m. the Wednesday prior to the weekly bid process you wish to participate in.

Example: If a producer wished to take part in the July 6 to 9 bid process they must ensure they have an AFSC ID number and an AFSC Connect account set up, and have accepted the program terms and conditions by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 1.

Once the bidding window opens, you can submit your bid. The bidding period is open from 9 a.m. Monday until 12 p.m. (noon) Wednesday for each enrolment week. Once accepted to the Fed set aside component, animals cannot be sold until the animals have been either set aside for a minimum of 30 days and released early by the initiative’s management committee or held for 63 days.

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Information in this episode

Weekly bid process steps

1/ Friday: Enrolled producers are notified about the upcoming bid process that begins the following Monday morning at 9 a.m.

2/ Monday: At 9 a.m. the bid process begins. Eligible producers will be required to supply:

  • Premises ID
  • Lot Number(s)
  • Number of Eligible Animals in each Lot
  • Animal Type – Heifer or Steer
  • Average net weight of the Lot must average 1,300 lbs for heifers or 1,400 lbs for steers at the date the bid is submitted
  • Bid amount

3/ Wednesday: The bid process for that week closes at noon.

4/ Friday: By noon, all eligible participants are notified if their bids for that week were accepted or rejected.

If a participant’s bid is accepted, they have seven days to submit supplemental information on each accepted bid. This includes the CLTS account number, PID, lot number and registered RFID tags associated with the eligible animals.

Accepted Bids

Week of July 6

  • No animals were accepted for the Fed Cattle Set-Aside, based on recommendations from the initiative’s Advisory Committee. Each week, the Advisory Committee reviews market/industry information and the aggregated bid data before making its recommendation.
  • Demand from the packers for animals is strong and the basis is at par or better.

Week of June 29

  • 5,098 head were accepted for the Fed Cattle Set-Aside.
  • The average bid price was $1.73