Starting June 12, 2020 fed cattle producers can apply for support for fed cattle set aside between May 1 and June 30, 2020. Immediate support is the first component of the 2020 Canada-Alberta Fed Cattle Feed Cost Offset Initiative, in response to industry disruptions due to COVID-19.
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.
Details including Terms & Conditions and Application form are available on the AgriRecovery page
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.
“COVID-19 disrupted cattle processing across North America, which bottlenecked fed-cattle ready for slaughter. More than 130,000 cattle have been backed up in Alberta requiring us to act,” said the Honourable Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. “To bring certainty to the cattle market, we also announced a Set-Aside program using a market-driven approach.”
Overall, the initiative compensates producers for the extraordinary cost of keeping slaughter-ready cattle on maintenance rations. 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.
“It is imperative that a set-aside program effectively meets the needs of cattle feeders relevant both to today’s processing backlog, but also into the summer months where there is potential for an even more significantly increased backlog ,” said Greg Schmidt, Chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association.
“COVID-19 disrupted cattle processing across North America, which bottlenecked fed-cattle ready for slaughter. More than 130,000 cattle have been backed up in Alberta requiring us to act. To bring certainty to the cattle market, we also announced a Set-Aside program using a market-driven approach.”
Honourable Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
“We appreciate the work the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Agriculture Financial Services Corporation are doing to establish a set aside program to help to producers who have had to hold back their cattle. Our hope is this program will facilitate stability to the live-cattle market by ensuring the number of cattle coming to slaughter matches the slaughter capacity available.”
“While it is encouraging to see our processing capacity normalizing, many of Alberta’s beef producers continue to face the backlog challenges caused by COVID-19,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “I want to reassure our beef producers that our Government stands behind them as we get through this period together. This support, offered in partnership with the provincial Government, will help producers cover the additional feed costs associated with holding their market-ready cattle during this difficult time.”
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.
First stage: Fed Cattle Feed assistance – Beginning June 12, applications for the Fed Cattle Feed assistance component open. This initial component includes retroactive benefits to help compensate producers for the cost of keeping these animals on maintenance rations.
How do I apply for the Fed Cattle Feed assistance component? Producers can access and download the online application at www.www.afsc.ca/agrirecovery. For each lot, the producers must 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.
Producers can return the application form for the first stage via email at AgriRecovery@afsc.ca, online via AFSC Connect, by fax to AFSC at 1-403-782-8441, or at your local AFSC office, by arrangement. 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.
“It is imperative that a set-aside program effectively meets the needs of cattle feeders relevant both to today’s processing backlog, but also into the summer months where there is potential for an even more significantly increased backlog.”
Greg Schmidt, Chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association
Second stage: The Fed Set-Aside 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.
Note: Producers who wish to take part in the initial June 29 bid process must ensure they have an AFSC ID number and an AFSC Connect account set up, and have accepted the program terms and conditions by June 24. Program application for the bid process will be available online through AFSC Connect starting June 22. If you are interested in participating in the bid process, contact AFSC to set up your online account.
Once registered, producers will have an opportunity to tender a bid to set aside slaughter ready cattle for up to nine weeks. Participants, whose bids were accepted for the week, will be required to provide AFSC with their Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) Account number and registered RFID tag numbers for all of the eligible animals associated with each Premise ID and Lot number that were accepted.
Participating producers and animals in the Fed Cattle Feed assistance and the Fed Set-Aside components may be subject to verification processes by AFSC and or a third-party vendor.
Can I apply for both components of the initiative at the same time? Each component of the initiative requires the completion of a separate application.
- The Fed Cattle Feed assistance (retroactive) component: You can return the PDF application form (available on the AFSC website) via email at AgriRecovery@afsc.ca, online via AFSC Connect, by fax to AFSC at 1-403-782-8441, or at your local AFSC office, by arrangement.
- Bid set aside – All components of this process are online, through AFSC Connect. Participants require an AFSC ID and AFSC Connect account before they can take part in the bid process.
Find more information on the AgriRecovery page, call the AFSC Client Service Centre at 1.877.899.2372, contact a branch office or use the AFSC.ca online chat. AFSC is ready and available to answer your questions and assist you.