Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister, David Marit, are reminding Saskatchewan producers that the deadline to enroll in the AgriStability Program is April 30, 2019.
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 enroll 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, 2019. 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, 2019, 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.