Industry Advisory - December 2021

AgriStability Industry Advisories are posted periodically to provide information about Program deadlines, features and changes.

Updated: December 1, 2021

In this issue: 

 

Important AgriStability Deadline: 2020 Forms and 2021 Fees

The deadline for AgriStability participants to submit their 2020 AgriStability program forms and pay 2021 program fees, with penalties, is December 31, 2021.          

Producers must pay program fees to be eligible to participate in the AgriStability Program. An Enrolment/Fee Notice was issued to producers earlier in the year providing details about the fee amount and deadline for payment. Since the initial deadline for payment has passed, producers with outstanding 2021 program fees now have a 20 per cent penalty added to their fee amount.

Forms received after the initial September 30 deadline, and by December 31, are subject to a $500 per month penalty, which is deducted from the producer’s AgriStability benefit. If the producer does not receive an AgriStability benefit, no penalty is applied. After December 31, participants are not eligible to receive benefits for the 2020 program year. Completing AgriStability program forms each year helps build a farm’s financial profile. If a producer does not file annually, there are gaps in the information needed to build the reference margin and will cause delays when processing future program forms.   

 

Filing Your Farm Income (or Loss)

To be eligible for AgriStability program benefits, you must submit your 2020 farming income (or loss) information to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This information is collected on the income tax return submitted to the CRA.

 

Submitting Program Forms

Individual producers (sole proprietors) must submit their income and expense (tax) information, provided on the T1163 form, to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). CRA then shares this information with SCIC. An individual producer’s supplemental information (inventories, receivables/deferrals, payables, and purchased inputs) is submitted directly to SCIC. Corporations and co-operatives submit all AgriStability program forms directly to SCIC.

Program forms can be submitted by fax, mail, email, or dropped off in person at any SCIC customer service office. You can also choose to use our web-based application, AgConnect, to enter your program information online and streamline your form submission. AgConnect is an easy-to-use, secure platform.

 

Using AgConnect

You can easily enter your program information online through our web-based application AgConnect. Information submitted through AgConnect enters SCIC’s system directly, allowing files to be processed quicker.

Using AgConnect will allow you to:

  • Access your AgriStability information in one place
  • Access the platform 24/7
  • Eliminate paperwork and the need to track multiple files
  • Easily file your forms online
  • View important historical information about your account
  • Send supporting documents electronically

To begin using AgConnect, contact the SCIC AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450. Our AgriStability Program staff can help get you set up on the application. Click here to learn more about AgConnect.

 

Partnerships

SCIC cannot process a file until all partners in the operation have submitted their program forms. Each individual or entity in a partnership must submit separate program forms reporting 100 per cent of the partnership’s income, expenses, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory, deferrals and purchased inputs. Each partner must also identify their percentage share of the partnership. SCIC calculates each partner’s share of any benefit based on their percentage share of ownership of the operation.

 

New for the 2020 AgriStability Program

Removal of Reference Margin Limit

A significant change improving the coverage available through the AgriStability Program was approved in March 2021.  Federal and Provincial Agriculture Ministers agreed to remove the Reference Margin Limit from the AgriStability benefit calculation. This enhancement will create an increase in coverage and there is potential for increased benefits for many farming operations previously subject to Reference Margin Limit.

By removing the Reference Margin Limit from the AgriStability benefit calculation, operations with lower allowable expenses will see increased coverage and opportunity to access larger benefits. This enhancement is retroactive to the 2020 program year. Removal of Reference Margin Limit from the benefit calculation is significant, over 50 per cent of Saskatchewan farms in the Program had the-Reference Margin Limit applied to their benefit calculation. The coverage available through AgriStability is improved, producers not enrolled in AgriStability may want to reconsider the risk protection the program can provide for their farm. If you have questions about AgriStability and how it can work for your operation, please call 1-866-270-8450.

 

Private Insurance Payments

Starting in the 2020 program year, private insurance payments are treated as non-allowable income in the calculation of the Program Year Margin. This means payments you receive from private insurance programs will no longer reduce the potential benefit you could be eligible to receive from the AgriStability Program.

This change applies to private insurance payments from programs where the premiums are fully producer-funded and compensate for losses related to price, revenue, production or margins. This includes, but is not limited to, programs like Global Ag Risk Solutions, Just Solutions, private hail insurance or Livestock Price Insurance. Payments from these programs will remain allowable in the reference years to ensure your support level does not decrease.

 

New Codes for 2020 Program Year

To report any private insurance program payments on your 2020 AgriStability program forms, use the line codes listed below. Do not include any Crop Insurance payments you receive. Crop Insurance payments will continue to be treated as allowable income.

  • Code 407: This new code will cover the hail insurance moved from the AgriInsurance codes. It will be treated the same as code 661. For AgriStability, it will be non-allowable in the program year, but allowable in the reference years. It will remain allowable for AgriInvest.
  • Code 661: Covers all indemnity payments outlined under section 4.3.2 of the AgriStability guidelines. Amounts are non-allowable for AgriStability in the program year, but allowable in the reference years. Amounts also remain allowable for AgriInvest.
  • Code 681: This new code will cover income from insurance for eligible agricultural commodities and be allowable for both AgriStability and AgriInvest. An example would be payments received for grain destroyed in a bin fire.
  • Code 406: Covers off the allowable expense items which would be allowable for AgriStability, but non-allowable for AgriInvest.
  • Code 667: This code has changed. Livestock Price Insurance income will be non-allowable for AgriStability in the program year, but allowable in the reference years. It will remain allowable for AgriInvest.

 

2021 Program Year Participants

SCIC is now accepting final AgriStability program forms for the 2021 program year. Farming and ranching operations with a non-calendar year end can complete and submit their final program forms at any time.

 

Interim Benefit

Get a Portion of Your Payment Now with an Interim Benefit

Prior to completing your fiscal year, you may be eligible to receive a portion of your AgriStability benefit payment early. An 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.

For the 2021 program year, interim benefits will be issued at 75 per cent of the estimated final benefit. The federal and provincial governments agreed to increase the 2021 interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Saskatchewan producers due to the impacts of the drought. 

Producers who wish to receive 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.

 

Year-End Inventory Check

Helpful Tip: Do A Year-End Inventory Check

The end of the year is a great time to gather information used for the AgriStability Program. For an inventory check, record items such as the number of bales, livestock and grain on-hand.

Click here to view a complete list of items producers can include as inventory.

Fiscal year-end inventory numbers are a large part of the information needed for completing your AgriStability forms. With year-end inventory records on hand, it is much easier to complete the program forms in the new year. 

Your file and potential benefit payment can be processed quicker with these three steps:

  1. Record your inventory. Click here to download the Inventory Check worksheet. Click here to download the Livestock Inventory Check worksheet.
  2. File your income tax.
  3. Using your recorded inventory, complete your AgriStability forms and submit to SCIC as soon as your income tax is complete.

Individual producers (sole proprietors) or corporations operating with a calendar year-end need to report inventories, payables, receivables, deferrals and purchased inputs by December 31, 2021. By taking a few moments in late December or early January to record this data, a producer can save time by not having to search for the information later in the year when it comes time to complete program forms.

AgConnect is another option for producers to record and submit this information. Since AgriStability uses the same information you provide to your accountant or form preparer, you can enter those numbers online with AgConnect to streamline your form submission.

 

Virtual Information Sessions

New To AgriStability? Want To Learn More About The Program?

For new or returning participants, or for producers wanting to learn more about the AgriStability Program, SCIC will conduct virtual AgriStability Information Sessions in January and February 2022. The meetings will review changes for the 2021 program year, coverage details, factors which can trigger a benefit payment and information that must be submitted to participate.

To learn more about these meetings, please contact your local SCIC office. A full schedule of session dates and times will be posted online in the new year.

 

Update Your Information

Has your main phone number changed? Has your mailing address changed? Do you have a new email address? Have you changed your contact person or form preparer? If you have made changes to your contact information, please let us know. We do not want any delays to occur when processing your AgriStability file. Simply contact the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 and update your information.

 

We're Here For You

 

Contact Us

We're Here For You

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: agristability@scic.ca.

Click here to access our Customer Service Office listings»