Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance, Drought Management Resources and Ontario Hay Listing

Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative


The Government of Ontario is providing emergency funding to the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) to help deliver emergency feed relief to all impacted livestock farmers in the Rainy River and Kenora Districts. The intent of the Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative is to help protect and maintain the breeding herd while we await the completion of the federal-provincial AgriRecovery assessment that is investigating potential additional assistance for farmers in drought-stricken regions of the province. 

Eligible livestock producers (ruminants, camelids and equine) who can receive support through this initiative must be residents of the Rainy River and Kenora Districts, have a valid premises identification number and farm business registration number, and attest to experiencing an immediate livestock feed shortage as a result of the extreme dry conditions of the 2021 growing season.

The intake for the feed component of the Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative has now closed (as of August 23, 2021). If you applied, a BFO staff person will be in touch when details of your delivery are confirmed.


Up to $1.2 million (administered by Agricorp) is now available to livestock producers in the Rainy River, Kenora and Thunder Bay Districts for emergency measures to source water for livestock and to purchase and install new temporary fencing to allow livestock to safely graze in alternative locations. Applications for the water and fencing component will be accepted August 3 through October 29, 2021.

Eligible farmers in the Rainy River, Kenora and Thunder Bay Districts can apply to receive up to a maximum of $10,000. Applicants need to list any eligible costs they incurred on the application form and provide copies of all supporting documents (e.g., invoices, receipts, proof of payment) along with their application form.

Eligible Costs


  • Trucks/tanks
  • Pumps
  • Troughs
  • Ancillary water equipment items, such as piping, joints, floats and valves


  • Materials, such as line posts and fencing wire
  • Staples
  • Nails
  • Labour, such as machine rentals, electrical sources including solar or battery-powered energizer


To participate in the initiative, farmers need to have:

  • Livestock in the Rainy River or Kenora districts
  • A Farm Business Registration number for 2021
  • A valid Premises ID
  • Incurred eligible costs

Complete an application and email it to by October 29, 2021. Click here for the application form and guideline document. 

Surplus Hay in Ontario

To help BFO manage the overwhelming response and support from producers across the province who have expressed interest in selling or donating hay to help those in need in drought-stricken regions, we have created a short survey to gather information to help us share through the right channels.

The information gathered will be shared with beef farmers in Ontario who are looking for long-term feed solutions moving into the fall and winter, and with organizers of the Hay West initiative. Negotiations are between the buyer and seller.

The Ontario Hay Listing service, administered by the Ontario Forage Council, is another free of charge option for buyers and sellers of forages


Dry Conditions Management Resources

Beef Farmers of Ontario recognizes the challenges dry growing conditions have on our producers, particularly on pasture and forage resources. As farmers look for ways to extend their grazing season and ensure adequate winter forage supply, resources are available to help provide strategies and options to adapt and move forward into the coming year. Beef Farmers of Ontario has collected many of these resources in one location to provide you with the information and solutions you need for a successful growing season!

Ontario Hay Listings (Ontario Forage Council)

This service is to provide an easy and effective process of bringing forage producers and buyers together. This service is free of charge. Ontario Hay Listing is a self-service tool that enables buyers and sellers of forages, in Canada and the US to announce and search available or needed hay and more.

Check out Beef Farmers of Ontario's Dry Conditions Management webinar featuring Christine O'Reilly, Forage & Grazing Specialist of OMAFRA:

OMAFRA Resources

Conserving Pasture Production During Dry Conditions

How you manage your pasture from the start of the grazing season will influence how it responds to drought conditions. Learn more from this resource about various pasture management strategies which will be of benefit during a drought, resulting in less severe effects.

Finding Extra Pasture

Read more on various strategies to extend your grazing season and increase pasture production. It is important to take steps early in the season to have the best opportunities to increase the amount of available pasture throughout the grazing season. What are the options?

Impact of Dry Weather on Forages and Pastures

Producing enough stored forage to feed livestock can be a challenge in dry years. Find out some of the management factors here that can affect adequate feed going into the winter.

Turn Corn Stover to Low-Cost Pasture

Corn stover can provide a low-cost feed source for cattle. This is an option that producers can potentially take to help extend their grazing season into the fall/early winter, and avoid using stored forage. Learn more about the benefits and risks here.

Slowing Down Rotation Protects Pasture Yield

One of the most important decisions a manager can make is to give their grass enough time to fully recover after being grazed. However, sometimes pastures do not recover from grazing as quickly as producers would like, often due to dry conditions. In these situations, grazing managers should look for ways to slow down their rotation. Read about some common strategies here.

Fall Pasture Management During a Dry Summer

When Ontario experiences a dry summer with little rainfall, future negative impact on pasture is certainly a large concern. Luckily, there are a number of steps to consider in the fall and next spring to bring pastures back into top form.

Dealing with Feed Shortages on Your Beef Farm

Dry weather during summer or spring can lead to possible feed shortages. The following decision-making process may help assess your individual situation in dealing with a shortage of feed.

Managing Forages in Dry Years

Livestock producers are always aware of the need to put up enough forage. There is nothing worse than going into winter with inadequate forage inventories. This can be very challenging in extremely dry years. Dry weather creates even more immediate problems in pasture situations during the "summer slump". Read here to find out more strategies that you can put into place on your farm to help prepare in a dry year.

Cutting Cow Feed Costs

Dry summers often have many producers thinking about their feed options. With feed being the major portion of the total cow/calf annual operating cost, changes may be required to feeding strategies. Find out five strategies to reduce costs, from short term to long term.

Further Resources

Drought Management Strategies (Beef Cattle Research Council)

Find a vast array of topics and resources relating to drought management in Canada. Ranging from tips on preparing for a drought, herd management, water sources, supplemental feeding, and economic factors, this resource page from the Beef Cattle Research Council is a valuable source of information during a dry year.

Ontario Hay Listings (Ontario Forage Council)

This service is to provide an easy and effective process of bringing forage producers and buyers together. This service is free of charge. Ontario Hay Listing is a self-service tool that enables buyers and sellers of forages, in Canada and the US to announce and search available or needed hay and more.

Cover Crop Decision Tool

This tool helps narrow down which cover crops might be a good fit for your field. It has the option to include both "grazing" and "forage harvest" as possible goals.

Canadian Drought Monitor

The Canadian Drought Monitor (CDM) is Canada's official source for the monitoring and reporting of drought in Canada. From this page you can access a variety of products and information about current drought conditions across the country.

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