Province re­mind­ing pro­duc­ers of April 30 Agrista­bil­ity dead­line

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - AGRI­CUL­TURE

Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture and Agri-food Minister, Marieclaud­e Bibeau, and Saskatchew­an Agri­cul­ture Minister, David Marit, are re­mind­ing Saskatchew­an pro­duc­ers that the dead­line to en­roll in the Agrista­bil­ity Pro­gram is April 30.

Agrista­bil­ity is a low-cost risk man­age­ment pro­gram of­fer­ing financial as­sis­tance to pro­duc­ers who ex­pe­ri­ence large mar­gin de­clines due to pro­duc­tion loss, ad­verse market con­di­tions or in­creased costs.

“Agrista­bil­ity is an essential tool to help farm­ers man­age risks and financial losses due to poor yields, low com­mod­ity prices, or ris­ing in­put costs,” said Bibeau. “The fed­eral gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to work closely with the Saskatchew­an gov­ern­ment to pro­vide farm­ers with the tools and pro­grams they need to help them man­age sig­nif­i­cant risks that are be­yond their ca­pac­ity to man­age.”

“While Crop In­sur­ance pro­vides cov­er­age for in-season crops, Agrista­bil­ity pro­vides fur­ther cov­er­age for other risks to your farm­ing in­come,” Marit said. “The pro­grams work to­gether to max­i­mize your cov­er­age, giv­ing pro­duc­ers whole farm protection.”

Agrista­bil­ity accounts for a pro­ducer’s whole farm­ing op­er­a­tion; not just one com­mod­ity. As a mar­gin-based pro­gram, Agrista­bil­ity pro­vides per­son­al­ized cov­er­age for each farm by us­ing his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion, based on in­come tax and sup­ple­men­tary in­for­ma­tion. If a pro­ducer’s pro­gram year mar­gin falls more than 30 per cent below their ref­er­ence mar­gin, Agrista­bil­ity could pro­vide a ben­e­fit pay­ment. The pay­ment pro­vides 70 cents for ev­ery dol­lar of ben­e­fit trig­gered. To en­rol in the pro­gram, sim­ply call the Agrista­bil­ity call cen­tre at 1-866-270-8450 and re­quest a new par­tic­i­pant pack­age. This re­quest must be made by April 30. Pro­duc­ers will be asked a few sim­ple ques­tions over the phone, with no ini­tial re­quire­ment of sup­ply­ing his­tor­i­cal farm in­for­ma­tion. New par­tic­i­pants will then have the op­tion of sub­mit­ting ei­ther their previous three years or five years of his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion in or­der to process their fi­nal ap­pli­ca­tion.

Once en­rolled, pro­duc­ers will re­ceive an Agrista­bil­ity En­rol­ment/fee No­tice. The pro­gram fee is $3.15 for ev­ery $1,000 of cov­ered Con­tri­bu­tion Ref­er­ence Mar­gin. A $55 fee is also ap­plied to help cover ad­min­is­tra­tive costs. All par­tic­i­pants are given 30 days from the date on their En­rol­ment/ Fee No­tice or un­til April 30, which­ever is later, to pay these fees. If the an­nual pro­gram fee is paid af­ter the ini­tial dead­line, a 20 per cent penalty fee will be added.

Agrista­bil­ity ben­e­fit pay­ments are paid out when the pro­gram year is com­plete; how­ever, there is an in­terim ben­e­fit op­tion where pro­duc­ers can ap­ply to re­ceive a por­tion of their es­ti­mated ben­e­fit early. The in­terim ben­e­fit can pro­vide added financial sup­port through­out the year, when pro­duc­ers need it most.

In Saskatchew­an, Saskatchew­an Crop In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion has ad­min­is­tered the Agrista­bil­ity Pro­gram since the 2009 pro­gram year. In the last three pro­gram years, Agrista­bil­ity paid ben­e­fits of more than $200 mil­lion to Saskatchew­an pro­duc­ers. In the 2016 pro­gram year, Agrista­bil­ity ben­e­fits to­talling more than $73.64 mil­lion were paid to 1,491 Saskatchew­an pro­duc­ers.

Saskatchew­an Crop In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion has 21 cus­tomer ser­vice of­fices across the province where pro­duc­ers can dis­cuss their risk man­age­ment plans with a pro­gram advisor. Pro­duc­ers may also call the Agrista­bil­ity call cen­tre at 1-866-270-8450, Mon­day to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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