NewsBusinessReference Margin Limit Removed for AgriStability

Reference Margin Limit Removed for AgriStability

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The following piece is from our sister publication, Alberta Seed Guide.

The federal, provincial and territorial Canadian agriculture ministers have agreed to remove the reference margin limit (RML) for AgriStability, one of the business risk management (BRM) programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), a news release from the federal government says on March 25. The removal of the RML will be made retroactive to the 2020 program year, also the deadline for producers to enroll in the 2021 program year will be extended to June 30, 2021.

“This is a big win for farmers across Canada, resulting in about $95 million per year. Thank you to all of the farmers and producer groups who got behind the federal offer,” Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal minister of agriculture and agri‑food, says in the release.

At the meeting between the ministers they discussed key changes to the program, meant to better support farmers. It is estimated that by removing the RML could increase the overall amount AgriStability pays out to farmers by approximately $95 million nationally, the release notes.

Costs for the removal of the RML will be shared, as outlined in CAP — 60 per cent by the federal government and 40 per cent by provincial and territorial governments.

The federal government first tabled its AgriStability proposal during the group’s last conference in November 2020. At that time, the ministers agreed that BRM programs needed to improve to better target emerging risks which threaten the viability of farms, the release says. As well, it was agreed programs should be simple, predictable, and respond quickly for producers, while treating farms fairly and equitably.

It was also noted analysis continues on alternative risk management designs. This analysis will inform upcoming discussions on longer-term reforms, set to take place at their next in-person Annual Conference in Guelph, Ontario scheduled for Sept. 8 to 10, the release says.