APAS is encouraged by news that the Federal and Provincial governments are considering improvements to the AgriStability program in their Federal/Provincial/Territorial meeting today.
“It is very positive that the Federal Minister of Agriculture has tabled concrete proposals to fund their 60% share of the program,” said APAS President Todd Lewis, “and we hope that discussions continue to an agreement that will improve the program for Saskatchewan producers.”
Lewis acknowledged that the decisions are being made at a time of financial uncertainty for provincial governments.
“Producers know that the pandemic has created financial challenges for all levels of government, and we stress that enhanced program support will only go to producers that have experienced losses, in most cases due to Covid-19 supply chain disruptions.” Lewis explained. “Most crop producers in Saskatchewan were able to harvest a decent crop in 2020 and are selling at reasonable prices. These farmers would not be in a position to make a claim through AgriStability. However, a large number of livestock producers have sustained major losses because of market disruptions this spring and really need additional support.”
Lewis concluded that recent trade and market disruptions have pointed out the shortcomings in business risk management programming, which was changed in 2012. “Farmers’ risks are higher than ever, and our costs have gone up 70% since the program was cut in 2012. Enhanced coverage is not out of line.”
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