"This is a very serious situation. Rising water in many areas of the province is affecting hundreds of producers and thousands of animals. Today, I put out a call to action to producers to help one another during this emergency," said Struthers. "We know that producers have been working tirelessly with other producers and government during this time. Lending a helping hand to a neighbour can make a world of difference during an emergency."
While the livestock emergency is in effect, MAFRI staff is working closely with Manitoba Conservation to identify Crown lands that will be made available for agricultural use. The land will be used to house livestock and store machinery until such time the water recedes and the land is no longer needed, said Struthers.
The minister noted staff members from his department are working closely with Manitoba Water Stewardship and Manitoba Emergency Measures, using forecast inundation maps to determine the potential flooded areas, and affected livestock and grain operations in the province. The department is also working closely with Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation as restrictions on a number of roads have been eased in flood-affected areas.
Staff members from the GO Offices in Starbuck and Portage la Prairie are currently in the field contacting producers in projected flood areas within the controlled release area. Staff members from other GO Offices across the province are working with producers in areas facing potential flooding near Lake Manitoba. All work is being done in a prioritized sequence as to who is most at risk.
"I will leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding support for agricultural producers and their families in response to this year’s flooding," said Struthers.
Producers with extra pasture land or feed are encouraged to contact their local GO Office to offer their help. Producers with grain or livestock at risk are also encouraged to contact their local GO Office.