Federal and Provincial Governments Increase Interim AgriStability Benefit
The federal and provincial governments have agreed to increase the AgriStability 2021 interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75% for Saskatchewan producers.
The two governments announced the decision on Wednesday.
“My thoughts are with those farmers and ranchers who are feeling the effects of the drought,” Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement. “We are working closely with the provinces to provide farm families with the support they need as soon as possible. By unlocking more AgriStability funds through interim payments, we can get more money for farmers making tough decisions in tough times and I urge other provinces to ask for the same if necessary.
“We will continue to help farm families meet the challenges we face today and position them for a sustainable future, because we know climate change will continue to pose challenges.
The Interim Benefit offers producers who are registered with AgriStability the opportunity to access part of their benefit earlier, to help bear losses and cover costs.
With this increase, Saskatchewan producers can apply for an interim benefit to receive 75% of their estimated final benefit in 2021, before completing their program year.
“We are closely monitoring and responding to the challenges Saskatchewan growers face due to the extreme drought this growing season. This is why we are taking another step today to provide additional support to our producers, ”said Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit.
“This increase allows producers to access more of their final AgriStability benefit earlier. The AgriStability Interim Benefit can help producers with cash flow needs and give them additional flexibility to cope with dry conditions.
The provisional benefit is calculated based on the decrease or loss of the estimated margin for the year relative to the farm’s reference margin. The drop must be at least 30 percent below the benchmark margin to qualify for a payout. If a producer receives an interim benefit payment, they must still file all forms for the final program year and meet program requirements within the allotted time frame.
NDP provincial agriculture critic Trent Wotherspoon released a statement Thursday saying the increase is not meeting the needs of producers.
“The measure announced yesterday by the provincial government is not enough,” Wotherspoon said in the statement. “Producers, farmers and ranchers organizations like the Saskatchewan Stock Growers and the Saskatchewan Cattleman’s Association have all called for emergency action and support.
Wotherspoon said the Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan (APAS) and nearly a dozen producer groups wrote Premier Scott Moe on the day of the announcement to demand immediate action, including an increase in compensation rates for ‘AgriStability and an extension of registrations. He said it was something the opposition and producers have been asking for for months.
“With the extraordinary challenges producers and ranchers face with this year’s drought, it is high time the provincial and federal governments step up their efforts and take action to match the opportunity,” said Wotherspoon.
“Many producers and herders are facing extraordinary difficulties due to the drought. Faced with this crisis, they deserve support, not a government that is left on the sidelines. “
Understanding the importance of paying interim benefits in a timely manner, SCIC prioritizes claims for interim benefits. SCIC will work with producers to finalize requests for interim benefits as soon as possible.
AgriStability is one of the Business Risk Management (BRM) programs of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. It protects Canadian producers against large declines in farm income for reasons such as lost production, rising costs and market conditions.
To request an interim benefit, producers can contact their local SCIC office, call the AgriStability Call Center toll-free at 1-886-270-8450, or email [email protected]
APAS welcomes the announcement of Agri-relance
The Saskatchewan Agricultural Producers Association (APAS) on Friday said in a statement it welcomed the announcement that the federal government is investing $ 100 million in the AgriRecovery program to help ranchers and farmers Saskatchewan faced extraordinary expenses and loss of breeding herds as a result. the extreme drought conditions of the year.
“This drought has resulted in unprecedented losses for Saskatchewan producers,” APAS President Todd Lewis said in the statement.
“It will take years for some farms to recover financially from this year, but also to build up their breeding herd which had to be sold because of the lack of feed. Any additional money intended to help this struggling sector is appreciated. “
On July 30, APAS sent a letter to Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau calling on her government to address the situation many Saskatchewan farmers are facing by investing in the Agri-recovery program.
“I just hope the evaluations are completed soon enough as producers have bills, employees to pay and a mountain of unforeseen costs starting this year,” Lewis said.
“We look forward to working with both levels of government in Canada and Saskatchewan to get this money back into the hands of producers and ensure we have a breeding herd in the years to come. “
APAS is also encouraged by the fact that the federal government has included the entire province of Saskatchewan in the Livestock Tax Deferral Program to ensure producers have options when it comes to protect their livelihoods, but would still like to see longer term deferrals and eligibility expanded to include all classes of livestock.
“Farmers and ranchers are currently faced with many difficult decisions and it is important that they have choices about the future of their farms,” said Lewis.