Farmers who suffered financial losses from severe frost last June, will now have access to funding to help them recover and prepare for the upcoming harvest season.
Government announced today, Feb. 25, $16.7 million in a Frost Loss Program.
“Last year’s frost event was severe and impacted many farmers and their crops. This investment will provide them with some help financially and will help them purchase some of the supplies and services they need for the upcoming 2019 season,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell.
The amount of damages that resulted from the weather event had not happened in Nova Scotia for several decades.
The most impacted crops were wine grapes, wild blueberries, apples and Christmas trees. In addition to crop revenue loss, seasonal farm workers were laid off and expansion was cancelled or placed on hold.
“Wild blueberries are one of Nova Scotia’s top agricultural exports and our producers suffered a shocking loss of two thirds of their crop in 2018, following very low market prices in recent years,” said Peter Rideout, executive director of the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia. “This funding will help support our producers and the communities that depend on them.”
Through the program, farms will receive 50 per cent of the value of their calculated production loss. The calculation will be based on an average of previous crop years, with adjustments for what was produced this year as well as AgriIinsurance.
The Frost Loss Program will be provided in addition to existing risk management programs.
The Department of Agriculture surveyed all registered farms in the province to estimate the extent of the damage. The estimated amount of losses for 2018 was $34.3 million. Of those who responded to the survey, more than half indicated they expect the damage will affect their crops beyond 2018.
Farmers that are interested in applying for the crop loss program can apply at https://novascotia.ca/agri . The deadline to apply is March 15.
Source : Media Release