12/31/2014 12:45 EST | Updated 03/02/2015 05:59 EST

Federal tax relief program for some cattle producers in Western Canada

EDMONTON - The federal government is giving some livestock producers in Western Canada a bit of tax relief.

Producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and B.C. who faced forage shortfalls due to extreme weather will be allowed to defer tax on their cattle sales for 2014.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says eligible producers in designated areas can defer income tax on the sale of their breeding livestock for one year in order to help replenish that stock.

Extreme weather this year included drought in parts of British Columbia and Alberta and too much moisture in parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

This resulted in significant forage shortages for some livestock producers who responded by reducing their breeding herds.

Ritz says the program will help these producers bounce back.

"Livestock producers in the West have been challenged with extreme weather conditions this year," Ritz said in a release.

"The tax relief offered by this program will provide producers with an additional tool to managing their forage shortfalls, allowing them to redirect money towards restocking next year's breeding herd."