Updated: March 30, 2021
In this issue:
- AgriStability Enrolment Deadline
- Removal of the Reference Margin Limit
- Whole-Farm Protection with AgriStability
- Treatment of Private Insurance Under AgriStability
- AgriStability Helps Saskatchewan Producers
- How Does AgriStability Work?
- Who Can Participate in AgriStability?
- How Much Does it Cost to Participate in AgriStability?
- How to Enrol in the AgriStability Program
- What is the Enrolment/Fee Notice?
- Changing Business Structure
- Keeping Information Up-to-Date
- Withdrawing from AgriStability
- AgriStability Works with Crop Insurance
- 2020 Program Year files are Being Processed
- 2021 Interim Benefits
- AgriStability Support Across the Province
The deadline to enrol in AgriStability for the 2021 program year is extended to June 30, 2021.
The Reference Margin Limit (RML) is removed from the AgriStability Program retroactive for the 2020 program year. With removal of the RML, the conventional margin will be used when processing all 2020-2023 applications.
The removal of the Reference Margin Limit (RML) ensures the coverage level for all farming operations is calculated equitably. Farming operations with low amounts of allowable expenses will no longer be subject to the RML rules.
This change will increase program coverage levels for those that previously had the RML applied to their benefit calculations. This program enhancement could increase benefits for producers previously subjected to the RML. The removal will also simplify the calculation for producers when determining a benefit situation.
In the agriculture industry, there are no guarantees. While producers cannot control the weather, market fluctuations or rising input costs, they can manage their risk with AgriStability. The AgriStability Program offers protection based on a producer’s operation history.
Consider these situations:
- Undesirable weather conditions,
- Increased expenses (e.g., increased input costs, including fuel and fertilizer)
- Poor quality crops (e.g., poor quality or low quantity yields due to drought, insect pressures, lower grade crops),
- Trade and market disruptions
Payments can result from a combination of factors that on their own may not result in a payment.
Revenue from private insurance payments, such as hail insurance, Global Ag Risk Solutions, Just Solutions or Livestock Price Insurance, will be excluded from the AgriStability program year calculation. This change allows producers to access additional coverage, while increasing the potential to receive an AgriStability benefit.
In the last five program years, Saskatchewan producers received AgriStability benefits of over $390 million dollars. These benefits were a result of uncontrollable factors negatively impacting producers’ farms. In 2019, Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers received payments for losses related to dry conditions in parts of the province, the tough harvest conditions in the fall, as well as price declines for peas, lentils, durum and canola.
AgriStability is designed to help farm operations facing large margin declines caused by production loss, increased costs or market conditions. This margin-based program is unique because it provides personalized coverage for each farm by using historical information, based on income tax and supplementary information. AgriStability calculates a program year margin and a reference margin for each farming operation. If a producer’s program year margin falls more than 30 per cent below their reference margin, due to any combination of production loss, adverse market conditions or increased costs, AgriStability could provide a payment. The payment provides 70 cents for every dollar of decline below the trigger point.
To be eligible to participate in the AgriStability Program, a producer must earn income from the primary production of agricultural commodities. In the program year they must have:
- Carried on the business of farming in Canada and reported farming income (or loss) for income tax purposes,
- Completed a minimum of six consecutive months of farming activity,
- Completed a production cycle,
- Paid their program fees, and
- Submitted the required information by the deadlines.
AgriStability is a low-cost Business Risk Management program with a program fee of $3.15 for every $1,000 of 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, whichever is later, to pay these fees without penalty.
Enrolling in AgriStability is easy. Click here to request a call-back. Producers are also encouraged to contact their local SCIC customer service office or call the AgriStability Call Centre (1-866-270-8450) and request a new participant package.
New producers in the AgriStability Program will be asked a few simple questions over the phone, with no initial requirement to supply historical farm information. Once enrolled, new participants will have the option of submitting either their previous three years or five years of historical information for processing their final application.
Producers wishing to participate for the 2021 program year must request to enrol by the extended deadline of June 30, 2021.
Once enrolled in the AgriStability Program, SCIC will mail you an Enrolment/Fee Notice. This notice provides a breakdown of the program fees and details of participating in the AgriStability Program.
All participants are given 30 days from the date on their Enrolment/Fee Notice or until the extended deadline of June 30, 2021, 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. To be eligible for the 2021 program year, fees must be paid no later than December 31, 2021.
The deadline has been extended from April 30, 2021 to June 30, 2021. This is an important date for AgriStability participants who have experienced changes within the business structure of their farm during the 2020 fiscal year. Participants must contact SCIC by June 30 if they have:
- Changed their farm from a sole proprietorship to a corporation,
- Changed their farm from a corporation to a sole proprietorship, or
- Transitioned their farm to a partnership.
Program fees and benefit calculations can change when farm business structures change. To avoid processing delays, please ensure SCIC has the most current information of your business structure. Please complete both forms when changing from a sole proprietorship to a corporation, or vice versa:
AgriStability participants are reminded to keep their contact information up-to-date. If your farm’s phone number, email address or mailing address has changed please contact the AgriStability Call Centre with the correct information.
Up-to-date contact information ensures SCIC can connect with you when necessary, reducing the chance of delays in benefit processing or missing a deadline. The correct information for your contact person (e.g., accountant or form preparer) is also important. If this has changed, please complete the Change Contact Person form and submit it to SCIC.
The Enrolment/Fee Notice provides producers with the opportunity to withdraw participation from the AgriStability Program. Producers must indicate their intention to withdraw by June 30, 2021. After this deadline, participants will be automatically enrolled for 2021 and required to pay their program fees. Producers who opt-out for the 2021 year will need to contact the AgriStability Call Centre before April 30 of the following program year to rejoin the Program.
SCIC encourages producers to consider participating in both the Crop Insurance and AgriStability Programs as part of a comprehensive risk management plan for their farming operation. With Crop Insurance, producers have coverage for their crops from the start of seeding season until harvest is complete. AgriStability offers producers additional coverage for uncontrollable events such as rising input costs, falling commodity prices or additional expenses (e.g., grain storage costs). Since AgriStability accounts for the whole farm, the Program can provide benefit payments even if producers receive Crop Insurance payments.
Participants in AgriStability for the 2020 program year do not need to wait until the September 30 deadline to submit their program forms. Once producers have finalized their income and expense (taxes) information for 2020, they can complete their AgriStability supplemental information (inventory, purchased inputs, deferrals, accounts payable and accounts receivable) and submit it to SCIC.
SCIC processes files in the order they are received. Submitting 2020 program forms well in advance of the deadline will help files be processed sooner.
Interim benefits provide an option to potentially receive a portion of AgriStability benefits early, to help support losses and cover costs before completing the fiscal year. The interim benefit is based on the estimated margin decline or loss for the year compared to the farm’s reference margin. The decline must be at least 30 per cent below the reference margin to access a payment. The interim benefit is then issued at 50 per cent of the estimated final benefit.
Producers receiving an interim benefit payment must be enrolled and submit all final program forms by the required deadlines. Contact the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 to learn more.
SCIC has 21 customer service offices 21 across Saskatchewan where producers can discuss their risk management plans with a Program Advisor. Our knowledgeable staff are available to assist producers by phone at 1-866-270-8450 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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AgriStability Program experts are available across the province to help producers, accountants or form preparers.
Contact a Program Advisor or the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 or by email to: email@example.com.Click here to access our Customer Service Office listings»