Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Prairies want replacement for AgriStability

Manitoba Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen has renewed calls for an entirely new approach to supporting farmers.

Instead of AgriStability, he and his counterparts from Alberta and Saskatchewan want whole-farm margin support.

Alberta and Saskatchewan paid for a consulting firm that recommended the whole-farm margin support idea in 2020 and now the three Prairie provinces are looking for someone to “develop program details and assess how the proposed WFMI concept program would work for various scenarios.”

They think it could be like crop insurance to provide support when revenues and/or costs fluctuate.

Canadian agricultural ministers are continuing to consider replacing AgriStability with a margin-based income protection program as soon as 2023 when the current five-year business risk management suite of programs will expire.

Prairie agriculture ministers have been the most vocal in complaining that AgriStability is too costly and ineffective.

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has offered to boost funding for AgriStabiity by $170 million that would fund removal of the reference margin limit and make the program easier for producers to access it.