Usually, a subsidy to transport livestock feed isn’t a good policy. However, in the case of the ongoing excess moisture problems faced by some livestock producers, this week’s provincial announcement of a transportation subsidy is a logical approach. During bad drought years, there are often calls for feed freight subsidies, but when feed is in short supply over a wide region, a transportation subsidy tends to drive up the price of feed even further. This year, there’s lots of feed overall, but good hay is short in certain regions and for certain producers. Feed freight assistance isn’t likely to drive up hay prices and it can provide meaningful support to producers who have had their hay and pasture land flooded. It’s also logical for the government to be providing assistance to transport animals and to pay $30 an acre for reseeding forage that has been flooded out. Check out the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture website for program details. Ad hoc programs have long been frowned upon, but it’s almost impossible to construct ongoing programs that deal with all the problems that can occur. Livestock producers with excess moisture might wish they were just getting a cheque in the mail, but this ad hoc program is taking a targeted, reasonable approach to address the problems.

I’m Kevin Hursh.

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