Special Areas 2, 3 and 4 have been included in the federal government’s initial list of designated regions for the Livestock Tax Deferral provision. The Government of Canada released their initial list of prescribed regions impacted by drought or flooding on July 23rd. Extreme weather conditions – specifically low moisture levels and resulting drought conditions - have significantly reduced forage production throughout the Special Areas. Only producers located in a federally designated region are eligible to use the Livestock Tax Deferral provision. 2019 is not the first time Special Areas has been designated in this federal program; Special Area 2 and 3 were included in 2015, 2017, 2018, and Special Areas 4 was included in 2015 and 2017.
The federal government’s Livestock Tax Deferral provision allows producers who sell part of their breeding herd due to drought or flooding in a prescribed drought or flood region to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year. To defer income, the breeding herd must have been reduced by at least 15%. Where the breeding herd has been reduced by at least 15%, but less than 30%, 30% of income from net sales can be deferred. Where the breeding herd has been reduced by 30% or more, 90% of income from net sales can be deferred.1 Prescribed regions are designated when forage yields are less than 50% of the long-term average because of drought or flooding. A preliminary list of prescribed drought and flood regions is usually completed in the early fall with designations made primarily based on spring moisture and summer rainfall and is supplemented with estimates of forage yield. Assessments of areas are reviewed in discussions with federal and provincial staff. The federal government confirms the final list of prescribed regions, including previously announced ones, in December when finalized forage yield information is available.
Drought conditions have significant negative effects on grasslands, including reduced plant vigor, herbage yield, litter reserves and root growth. These impacts can be cumulative and cause long term effects on the production of grasslands. Grazing opportunities of severely affected pastures in years following drought may become limited as the recovery period increases to rebuild the plant health and litter reserves. Properly managed pastures are more likely to recover faster and provide more grazing opportunity. Reducing stocking levels - when possible - will help balance livestock needs with the forage supply, retaining litter thereby helping plants and conserving soil water. Rotation of grazing pasture to help ensure fields get rested is likely to help reduce the long-term impacts of drought conditions. Continued grazing of drought affected range further magnifies drought impacts. For more information on range management techniques, producers are encouraged to contact Nolan Ball, Special Areas Rangeland Agrologist at (403) 854-5647.
For more information, contact:
Maeghan Chostner, Communications
Special Areas Board
(403) 854-5611 / (403) 857-8047