SaskPower has doubled funding for the Farmyard Line Relocation Project from $2 to $5 million.
Established in 1995, the Farmyard Line Relocation Project subsidizes the cost of moving or burying farmyard power lines.
“Obviously farm safety is a huge concern for everybody,” said Bill Prybyliski, vice-president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. “The amount of money that’s been announced is sufficient to complete 300 projects, so that’s 300 farmyards that will be that much safer.”
Through the program, SaskPower contributes 75 percent of the cost of moving power lines and the landowners pay 25 percent, up to a maximum of $2,000.
Some lines will be buried, other’s will be moved and rerouted. It includes only lines from farmyards.
Scott McGregor, media relations representative with SaskPower, said there is no program to assist with relocating powerlines near fields.
Although Prybyliski and APAS were happy about the increased funding, he said more could be done.
“This is just one part of the whole safety issue with respect to power lines,” he said. “Obviously farmyards are a big source of concern, but there’s also the concern with the lines in the fields that are potential hazards, so obviously the more that can be done the better. There’s always room for improvement, but this is a good first step towards making farms safer.”
According to SaskPower, there were 306 line and pole contacts with farm machinery in 2020. So far this year there have been 196 incidents, including one fatality.
Extra funding is only confirmed for this year.
Interested producers can go to the SaskPower website and apply for the program.