Minister MacAulay announces early list of Livestock Tax Deferral regions for 2024


Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The effects of climate change are having a direct and severe impact on farmers and their ability to earn a stable income. To provide producers with more certainty heading into the summer months, today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an early list of regions that are eligible for Livestock Tax Deferral in 2024.

The Livestock Tax Deferral provision allows livestock producers in certain areas who are forced to sell all or part of their breeding herd due to drought, flooding or excess moisture to defer a portion of their income from sales until the following tax year. The income may be at least partially offset by the cost of reacquiring breeding animals, thus reducing the tax burden associated with the original sale.

This year, the Government of Canada has streamlined the process to identify regions earlier in the growing season, and also instituted a buffer zone to adjacent regions to capture impacted producers on the edges of affected regions. Weather, climate and production data from across Canada will continue to be monitored throughout the remainder of the season and regions will be added to the list when they meet the criteria.

Livestock Tax Deferral serves as a crucial instrument for the government in mitigating the financial burden on farmers during natural disasters, such as drought or floods. The Government of Canada will continue working with industry partners to explore avenues to ensure farmers get support quicker and more efficiently in times of need.


“As a farmer myself, I know firsthand the challenges and uncertainty our producers face due to extreme weather. By announcing Livestock Tax Deferral regions earlier in the year and applying buffer zones to increase flexibility, we’re helping farmers make informed decisions and build up their resilience.”

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts

  • After consultation with industry, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has used preliminary scientific data to produce the initial list of prescribed regions earlier in the growing season.
  • Using this preliminary data, some regions are likely to recover forage capacity based on actual conditions later in the growing season. However, once a region is prescribed, it will remain eligible for the deferral for the taxation year.
  • In addition, a buffer zone is now being applied so regions that are adjacent to regions that qualify based on weather, climate and production data are also prescribed. This will ensure that farms within those adjacent regions who may also be experiencing drought or excess moisture conditions can benefit from the Livestock Tax Deferral provision.
  • Subsequent regions will be added to the list when they meet the eligibility criteria of forage shortfalls of 50% or more caused by drought or excess moisture.
  • To defer income under the Livestock Tax Deferral provision, the breeding herd must have been reduced by at least 15%.
  • In the case of consecutive years of drought or excess moisture and flood conditions, producers may defer sales income to the first year in which the region is no longer prescribed.
  • Producers have access to a comprehensive suite of business risk management (BRM) programs to help them manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage. BRM programs, including AgriStability, AgriInsurance and AgriInvest, are the first line of defense for producers facing disasters and farmers are encouraged to make use of these programs to protect their farming operation.