The increased number of deer and elk in the province has caused significant damage to feed stacks in some areas.

In response to producer concerns, Provincial Agriculture Minister David Marit has announced a supplemental freight adjustment for livestock producers in the southwest and west central part of the province to compensate producers for the additional cost of transporting feed.

"That area we've seen obviously didn't have a hay crop in 2021, a better hay crop in 2022 but not a good one by any means. So feedstocks are in very short supply and what we did hear from the ranching community was ... Where did they go to find feed? Obviously, they have to go three, four, or 500 kilometres to try and find a feed supply to bring it in.  What happens then is the transportation costs are obviously quite high."

SCIC has reassessed and finalized the 2022-23 Wildlife Compensation values for forage products updating the values to include a freight adjustment payment.

The top-up only applies to Wildlife Damage stacked forage claims registered between September 1, 2022 - March 31, 2023

Top-up rates range from $40 a tonne to $135 a tonne depending on your location. The coverage area has been divided into three zones which cover a large portion of the province, from the far corner of the southwest,  over to Bengough, north to Lanigan, over to the Alberta border, and north to Rabbit Lake,  excluding an area around Saskatoon.

Marit says he doesn't have a firm number on the cost for the top-up program,  but he expects it will be higher than the $4 million in wildlife compensation on feed stack damages that was paid out in 2021.

The top-up will automatically be sent to eligible producers who filed a claim after September 1, 2022, under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for stacked forage rates range from $40 a tonne to $135 a tonne depending on your location.

He notes they've also increased the compensation rate for fencing around feed stacks and encourages producers to get in contact with their crop insurance office to see what those rates are and if they'll work for them.

The Wildlife Damage Compensation Program is a Business Risk Management (BRM) program supported by the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Compensation (up to 80 per cent of the production loss) is shared 60 per cent by the Government of Canada and 40 per cent by the Government of Saskatchewan. The remaining 20 per cent is paid by the Government of Saskatchewan. Administrative expenses are fully funded by governments, 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Saskatchewan.

To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with Minister Marit click on the link below.