August 6, 2021
AGRISTABILITY CHANGES SUPPORT MANITOBA PRODUCERS DURING TIME OF DROUGHT
The governments of Canada and Manitoba have agreed to increase the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Manitoba producers, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Ralph Eichler announced today. "My heart goes out to those farmers and ranchers feeling the impacts of the drought. We are working closely with provinces to get farm families the support they need as soon as possible. By unlocking more AgriStability funds through interim payments and invoking late participation, we can get more cash in hand for farmers who are making tough decisions in a difficult situation," said Bibeau. "We will continue to support farm families to get them through the challenges we face today, and position them for a sustainable future, since we know climate change will continue to pose challenges." "I have been working closely with Manitoba producer groups and we are looking for every way we can help in these challenging times,” said Eichler. “We have taken this additional step to provide our producers with support and this increase allows producers to access a larger portion of their final AgriStability benefit early.” The interim benefit provides the opportunity for producers who are enrolled in AgriStability to access a portion of their benefit early, to help support losses and cover costs. With this increase, Manitoba producers can apply for an interim benefit to receive 75 per cent of their estimated final 2021 benefit, before completing their program year. Manitoba is also invoking the late participation option for producers not currently participating in AgriStability. Payments to late participants will be reduced by 20 per cent prior to applying any other deductions or penalties. The interim benefit is calculated based on the estimated margin decline or loss for the year compared to the farming operation's reference margin. The decline must be at least 30 per cent below the reference margin to access a payment. If a producer receives an interim benefit payment, they must still file all final program year forms and meet program requirements by the assigned deadlines. Manitoba will also be waiving AgriStability structural change for eligible 2022 program participants to ensure producers maintain their level of support and are not penalized for any significantly reduced productive capacity resulting from this year’s extreme weather events. AgriStability is an important tool that can help manage risks and financial losses because of poor yields, low commodity prices, or rising input costs. The program provides support when a producer experiences a large margin decline. Participants may be eligible for an interim payment as an advance on their final 2021 AgriStability benefit. The deadline to apply for an interim payment is March 31, 2022. Access AgriStability information with My AAFC Account, visit the AgriStability website www.agr.gc.ca/agristability or call toll-free at 1-866-367-8506 for more information. AgriStability is one of the business risk management programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation, and the Government of Canada continue to stay in regular contact with producers, stakeholders, and provincial counterparts to confront the challenges of drought across Western Canada. - 30 -
For more information:
Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-290-5374.