The Ontario government is providing support for livestock farmers impacted by drought conditions in Northwestern Ontario. The government is providing up to $15,000 through the Northwestern Ontario Drought Assistance Initiative for well drilling and pond construction projects.

“Last week I visited farmers in Northwest Ontario and not only did they ask for assistance, but I saw first hand the urgent need to provide assistance with drilling new wells and modifying ponds,” said Lisa Thompson, minister of agriculture, food, and rural affairs. “Quickly providing this targeted support will help impacted farms access a permanent and much-needed water supply that will ensure the short- and long-term success of the farm’s operation.”

“This summer has seen sustained periods of unusually hot, dry weather in Northwestern Ontario,” added Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River and minister of northern development, mines, natural resources, and forestry. “With farmers battling against the difficult drought conditions, it is vital that our government acted fast. This new funding builds on the actions our government is doing to ensure farmers in the region have the resources they need to keep their farms running and prepare for future seasons.”

Ontario will provide up to fifty per cent in cost-share funding for well improvement, pond expansion and/or construction to eligible farmers in the Kenora, Rainy River, and Thunder Bay areas, up to a maximum of $15,000 per farm. Funding will be for eligible costs incurred since June 14, 2021. Eligible farmers can apply for the Northwestern Ontario Drought Assistance Initiative through Agricorp. Applications open later this month and run until January 31, 2022.

“I would like to commend and thank Minister Thompson and OMAFRA officials for their responsiveness to the needs of livestock farmers in the northwest impacted by this year’s drought,” said Rob Lipsett, president of Beef Farmers of Ontario. “The additional support announced today to assist farmers with the costs of securing additional water infrastructure capacity will provide yet another tool for farmers. It will also help mitigate the long-term effects of the drought by ensuring vital infrastructure is in place in the region to support the regrowth of the cow herd as our sector in the northwest recovers.”

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