Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced that starting January 7, 2019, requests for funding will be accepted. Dairy farmers will have until February 8, 2019, to apply for Phase II funding, valued at C$98m (US$74m).
The program will now have a two-stage application process involving a pre-selection step, which, if an applicant is selected, will be followed by the submission of a full application. This will be a random selection as opposed to the first-come first-served process in Phase I. The government said the new process will give all applicants an equal opportunity of being selected for funding. Priority will also be given to companies that have not already received funding.
Projects will be eligible for a contribution of up to C$100,000 (US$75,000), with between 1,000 and 1,500 projects expected to be funded.
A number of changes to Phase II of the Dairy Farm Investment Program were developed following consultations with industry and feedback from farmers.
The Dairy Farm Investment Program, originally launched in August 2017, aims to help Canadian cow's milk producers improve productivity through upgrades to their barn technology and equipment.
Of the 11,000 dairy farms in Canada, more than 2,500 applied to the program under Phase I, with more than 1,900 projects funded with an average of C$68,000 (US$51,000) per project.
Projects received funding for upgrades such as automatic feeding systems, robotic milking systems, and herd management equipment.
The Government has also announced the formation of new working groups to develop mitigation strategies to support farmers and processors to help them adjust to the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).