The 2020 Canada-Alberta Fed Cattle Feed Cost Offset Initiative compensates producers for the extraordinary cost of keeping slaughter-ready cattle on maintenance rations due to reduced slaughter capacity and backlog resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

This is a joint Canada-Alberta AgriRecovery initiative with two components: the Fed Cattle Feed Assistance Component (retroactive payment) and the Fed Cattle Set Aside Component (bid process)

AFSC will administer both stages of the program in Alberta.



Q: What does this AgriRecovery program cover?

A: This joint Canada-Alberta AgriRecovery initiative has two components:

  • First – Fed Cattle Feed Assistance – a retroactive payment for cattle set aside between May 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020
  • Second – Fed Cattle Set Aside – a bid system for cattle set aside from July 1, 2020 until the end of the initiative. The bid component of the initiative will continue until the initiative’s funds are distributed, or the need to set aside animals no longer exists or the end date of March 31, 2021.

Q: Why doesn’t the Fed Cattle Feed Offset initiative cover animals held from the market in March and April?

A: The initiative was developed by the Alberta government in consultation with industry representatives including the National Cattle Feeders Association, Alberta Cattle Feeder Association, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Alberta Beef Producers.

If animals were set to be marketed prior to May 1, 2020 they may be eligible for compensation under the Fed Cattle Feed Offset if they were still on feed between May 1 and June 30, 2020.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for the initiative?

A: To be eligible to participate in the initiative:

Participants must:

  • Be an individual who is at least 18 years of age; either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada; and reside in Alberta; or be a corporation whose majority of voting shareholders reside in Alberta.
  • Report farm income and expenses in Alberta for income tax purposes. Applicants who are not required to file farm income tax must provide documentation that shows the production and sale of agriculture commodities;
  • Be responsible for feeding and primary care of the eligible animals located in Alberta; and
  • Apply to the program as specified in the Terms and Conditions.

Animals must:

  • Have been fed by an eligible participant for a minimum of 60 days and actively fed in Alberta prior to such animals being offered for this initiative;
  • Be steers or heifers, with the average net weight of the lot animals being a minimum of 1,400 lbs weight for steers and 1,300 lbs weight for heifers and be eligible for an “A” grade designation;
  • Have readable bar code ear tags as approved by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency;
  • Be available for inspection to confirm compliance with the Terms and Conditions, including, verification of animal ownership; date of animals starting to be fed by an eligible participant; average net weights of a lot(s); number of animals in a lot(s); type of animals in a lot(s); lot number(s); and Premises ID number(s).

Q: Are bison eligible?

A: No, bison are not covered by this initiative.

Q: A portion of the cattle that I want to enter into the initiative are owned by me while some are owned by another person. Do we need to fill out two applications?

A: Only the person responsible for feeding the cattle can apply for the initiative. For example, if a father and son share a pen, whoever feeds the cattle applies. If partners (example: husband/wife) are jointly responsible for the care of the animals, only one partner would apply for the entire lot, or lots, of animals they want to enter into the initiative.


Q: What is covered under the Fed Cattle Feed Assistance component?

A: This component provides compensation for feed costs incurred between May 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 for eligible animals that were delayed from marketing due to reduced processing capacity at Alberta beef slaughter facilities. Compensation is paid to a maximum of 35 days. Lots must include a minimum of 20 head.

Q: What information will I need to provide?

A: You will need to provide your premise ID, lot number, number of animals for each lot, the original target date for slaughter and the actual or estimated marketing date.

Q: What dates do I put in the “Original Date for Marketing” and “Actual or Projected Date for Marketing” fields, if my cattle were not contracted as we usually sell them on the cash market?

A: Original Date For Marketing is the date the cattle would have been at the full fed weight and ready to deliver to the slaughter facility; Actual or Projected Date for Marketing is the date animals were actually sold or an estimated sale date if they have not yet been sold. 

Q: How is the average net weight of the Lot factored into this part of the program?

A: For animals to be eligible for the Fed Cattle Feed Assistance Component the average net weight of the Lot must meet 1,300 lbs for heifers or 1,400lbs for steers as at the date the bid is submitted.

Q: When do applications for the Fed Cattle Feed Assistance portion of the initiative open and close?

A: Applications open on Friday, June 12 and close June 30, 2020.

Q: How do I submit my application?

A: Applications and all supporting documents may be emailed to (Subject line: AgriRecovery Fed Cattle Initiative), faxed to 403-782-8441, submitted through document upload in AFSC Connect or dropped off in person at any AFSC branch office.

Q: How will the payment be calculated?

A: Eligible participants will receive a payment of up to $2/head/day for the number of days eligible animals were fed within the scope of the fed feed assistance component, up to a maximum of 35 days.

Q: When will I receive payment?

A: An initial payment may be issued for applications received by June 22 during the week of June 22.  Top-up payments, if applicable, and payments for applications received after June 22 are to be issued the week of July 6.


Q: How do I apply for the Fed Set Aside stage of the initiative?

A: To participate in the set aside/bid system stage, you will need to have an AFSC ID number and an AFSC Connect account. Please contact AFSC as soon as possible to set up your ID and login.  You will need to have your AFSC Connect account set up by 4:30 p.m. the Wednesday prior to the weekly bid process you wish to participate in.

Q: I have an AFSC Connect log in, what is the next step?

A: Log in to AFSC Connect and complete the registration process and accept the program Terms and Conditions. You will need to have completed the registration process and accepted the Terms and Conditions by 4:30 p.m. the Wednesday prior to the weekly bid process you wish to participate in.

Q: I have completed the registration process, when does the bidding process start?

A: The first bidding period opened June 29 and closed July 1. A new bidding window opens each Monday morning and closes at noon Wednesday.

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. Only bids submitted electronically via an AFSC Connect account will be considered for acceptance.

Q: I didn’t participate in the first bid process but I am interested in participating now. When do I need to complete the application steps?

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

Q: What information do I need to bid?

A: You will need to provide your premises ID, lot number, number of animals for each lot, the type of animal (steer/heifer), average net weight of the animals in the lot, and dollar per day bid.

Q: Are there limits on the number of head per lot or the number of lots I can submit per week?

A: There is a minimum of 40 head per lot. There is no limit on the number of lots you can submit per week. All lots must be submitted in one bid per week.

Q: What if I want to edit my bid?

A: If the bid submission window is still open, you can edit your bid and resubmit. Please be aware that your edited bid will have a new time stamp.

Q: Why is the time stamp on my bid important?

A: Lowest priced bids are accepted first. In the case of tied bids, the bid which occurred first will be accepted, so having an earlier time stamp may be important.

Q: What if I decide to withdraw my bid?

A: You may choose to withdraw your bid prior to the end of the bidding window.

Q: How will I know if my bid has been accepted?

A: You will be notified by AFSC on the Friday after the bid closing on the status of your bid for that week.

Q: The bidding process is held each week, however, I’ve noticed that some weeks no animals are accepted into the program. Why?

A: Each week, the Advisory Committee reviews market/industry information and the aggregated bid data before making its recommendation on how many, if any, animals need to be set aside that week.

If demand from the packing industry is strong and the basis is strong, the Advisory Committee may recommend no animals be set aside that week.

Q: My bid has been accepted, is there anything else I need to do?

A: 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, Premises ID, lot number and registered RFID tags associated with the eligible animals.

Acceptance notifications will contain further instructions on providing supplemental information in the required format.

Q: How do I submit my supplemental information?

A: All supplement information must be submitted in a CSV file via AFSC Connect. Click to download the 2020 Canada – Alberta Fed Cattle Feed Cost Offset Initiative Supplemental Bid Information template.  You may use your own spreadsheet, but it must contain the following headings: AFSC ID, CLST ID, Premises ID, Lot Number, TAG_ID. More information can be found on the  2020 Canada – Alberta Fed Cattle Feed Cost Offset Initiative Supplemental Bid Information page.

To upload the file, log into AFSC Connect and use the document upload function. Remember to select AgriRecovery as the product.

Q: When can I sell my animals?

A: 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.

Q: My animals have been accepted into the program, but I no longer want to hold them for the full 63 days. What do I need to do?

A: You need to apply for early release from the initiative. The Management Committee will consider your application, however, applications for early release will only be granted in extraordinary circumstances.

To apply for early release, send a written request to or fax 403-782-8441. The request should include:

  • Participant name
  • Premises ID
  • Lot number
  • Number of head included in lot
  • Type of animals (steers, heifers, mixed)
  • Date lot (bid) was accepted
  • Detailed reason for requesting early release

Q: How will program payments be calculated?

A: Eligible participants will receive a payment for the number of days that eligible animals are set-aside times the bid amount, once the animals are released from set-aside. Eligible participants may receive up to a maximum 63 days of feed costs.

Q: When will I receive payment?

A: Payments are triggered when substantially all of the registered RFID tags of an accepted lot are reported retired by Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to the program Administrator.


Q: Will I be audited?

A: All audits will be random. Participants selected for audit will be notified prior to site inspection.

Q: Who do I contact for more information?

A: If you would like additional information, please contact AFSC using online chat, call our Client Service Centre at 1.877.899.2372 or contact a branch office. AFSC is ready and available to answer your questions and assist you.