07/31/2012 09:41 EDT | Updated 09/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Ontario Asks Federal Government For Drought Relief

Ontario's agriculture minister said the province won't be offering new money for struggling farmers in eastern Ontario, but said he has asked the federal government for financial assistance.

Ted McMeekin, the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, was in North Gower, Ont., meeting with livestock farmers on Tuesday, a day after the province made a formal request to the federal government to conduct an assessment under the AgriRecovery framework for disaster relief.

The federal government has 45 days to conduct such an assessment.

McMeekin also asked Ottawa to accelerate tax relief for livestock producers in regions that are most affected by the drought.

The province has also asked Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to help the province assess support options for livestock producers.

The province had previously sent a letter regarding relief for the southern Ontario fruit tree freeze. The assessment of that request is due Sept. 3.

The hot, dry summer has devastated many crops in eastern Ontario, hurting both grain and livestock farmers who rely on grains for their feed.

McMeekin is also scheduled to appear at Maple Lane Farms in Cobden, Ont., at 3 p.m.

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