Written by Glenda-Lee Vossler

Saskatchewan's Agriculture Minister David Marit says the resiliency of the province's agriculture sector has been amazing through 2021.

He says the drought impacted all sectors from grain and oilseeds to livestock, with not only dry conditions, but a water shortage as well.

"We've been going through this for 20 months. They just showed, again, that agriculture really is the backbone of this province, and drives the economy. I mean, to have the year that we went through, and still, you know, see where we are right now. There's some challenging times out there, and I hope we did as a government, did what we could to help the industry and help the stakeholders as a whole to try and get through this and weather this storm."

Marit says the Province brought in additional programs to help like the $200 a head program for breeding stock and the Low Yield Appraisal on Crop Insurance, both of which played an important role.

"To allow, you know, farmers that were in crop insurance if they had a cereal crop that they felt wasn't going to amount to much, probably less than 10 bushels an acre. That's why we doubled all those thresholds. Farmers could write those crops off and then talk to a neighbor - cattle or ranch operation - that if they're needing feed, if they were ready to purchase it, they could sell it and work out a deal."

He notes they wanted to try and help alleviate some of the feed stress, while still trying to protect the livestock sector as a whole, especially on the breeding side.

The drought of 2021 created a number of issues for the province's agriculture sector from lower yielding crops for the grain and oilseed sector
to feed and water shortages for the livestock sector.

"We were kind of hoping that the $200 a head for breeding stock was obviously going to help them access some feed or transport feed. We felt the farm and ranch water programming in raising that threshold to $150,000 for livestock producers only, was a means for them to access water. "