Province announces funding for fruit growers impacted by February’s extreme cold

Minister of Agriculture Greg Morrow. (Submitted photo)

From a press release

WOLFVILLE: Grape and other fruit growers whose crops were affected by the extreme cold weather in February will soon receive additional support to help them recover.

Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow announced $15 million in funding on March 9 in Wolfville.

“I’ve talked to farmers about the impact last month’s extreme cold had on their crops, and some are predicting a full loss of their fruit harvest this year,” said Minister Morrow.

“This funding will help cover some of the extraordinary costs producers are facing over the next few years as the full scope of the damage is revealed.”

Early assessments indicate up to 100 per cent of grapes, raspberries, peaches, cherries and plums may be lost this year. The actual percentage loss and the long-term impact of the extreme cold won’t be known until spring.

The Department of Agriculture will work with industry representatives over the next few months to design and deliver programs that will meet their needs. It will help with losses not covered by business risk management programs like crop insurance. The new fund may also support replant programs and climate change mitigation projects.

Nova Scotia farmers have access to several federal-provincial business risk management programs, including Agri-Stability and Agri-Insurance.

“Nova Scotia has a robust wine industry – one that attracts locals and visitors alike and which our rural communities, in particular, depend on. And that success starts with the grapes we grow. The damage this polar vortex caused doesn’t just affect this year’s harvest, but the coming years as well.

“This funding from the Province comes at a crucial time to support our recovery and set us up for success in the long term.”
     – Steve Ells, President, Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:
— temperatures in the primary horticulture region of the Annapolis Valley saw temperatures of -25 C on the morning of February 4
— the total farm gate value for fresh fruit in 2022 was almost $96 million
— the deadline to sign up for Agri-Stability for the 2023 year is April 30
— the deadline to apply for Agri-Insurance varies by crop and can be found on the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission’s website