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Next dairy support program changes format

The second part of the program will have two application stages in order to give more farmers a chance

The second phase of the federal government’s program to help dairy farmers adapt to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe will attempt to make the program available to more farmers.

The first phase of the program was filled rapidly, as farmers with ready projects, were able, with help from their suppliers, to submit applications quickly.

That meant that anyone who wasn’t ready to start with a project on their farm quickly, missed out, as did those who didn’t have applications ready.

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The government is giving more notice for this version of the program. The government does point out that 75 per cent of applicants to the first phase were funded.

The second phase is worth $98 million and will open Jan. 7, 2019. The program application period will be open until Feb. 8, 2019. The first stage will include a pre-selection step. If selected, then an applicant will then follow up with a full application.

“The new process will give all the applicants an equal opportunity of being selected for funding,” said the announcement of the second stage.

Projects are eligible for up to $100,000 in funding, meaning it is expected the program will fund between 1000 to 1,500 projects on dairy farms.

The government said it heard from the industry and as a result changed the process for the second phase of the program.

More than 2,500 farmers applied for the first phase and more than 1,900 projects were approved with an average of over $68,000 per project.

“Through investments made under this program, we are ensuring that dairy farmers across the country can make important upgrades to their operations, helping them continue to contribute to our economy and middle-class growth,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Canada’s minister of Agriculture and Agri-food.

Farms that haven’t already received funding will be given priority in the second round, and the funding will be distributed among provinces based on their share of total milk quota.

About the author

Editor

John Greig has spent his career in agriculture journalism and communications. He lives on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario. Contact John at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jgreig

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