Ontario adds livestock watering projects to drought relief program

Farmers and ranchers in the drought-affected areas of Ontario will have an opportunity to access up to $15,000 per farm for well drilling and pond construction projects.

Applications for the Northwestern Ontario Drought Assistance Initiative will open later in September through Agricorp. The program will be retroactive to June 14, 2021.

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.

“I would like to commend and thank Minister [Lisa] Thompson and OMAFRA officials for their responsiveness to the needs of livestock farmers in the northwest impacted by this year’s drought,” says 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, and 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.”

Earlier this month, Ontario announced details of the Canada-Ontario Transported Feed Initiative, through the federal-provincial AgriRecovery program.