Ministers agree to new agricultural policy and commit to reviewing BRM programs


The following information was provided by the Canadian Horticulture Council:

Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture recently agreed to key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (previously known as the Next Agricultural Policy Framework)―a five-year, $3 billion investment that will come into effect on April 1, 2018―as well as committed to reviewing Business Risk Management (BRM) programs.

AgGrowth Coalition
CHC is pleased that FPT governments have responded to the concerns of the AgGrowth Coalition and have committed to a meaningful review of BRM programs. The coalition will be collecting data to support constructive change, and is striving to ensure that industry is actively involved in the review of the programs. The AgGrowth Coalition is comprised of: the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, Grain Growers of Canada, Grain Farmers of Ontario, the National Sheep Network, and the Canadian Horticultural Council.

Concerns with BRM programs
Several BRM measures that will come into effect next year are problematic. The maximum Allowable Net Sales (ANS) eligible under AgriInvest will be reduced to $1 million, down from $1.5 million, and the annual government matching contributions will be limited to $10,000 per AgriInvest account, down from $15,000. Under AgriStability, a late participation mechanism has been added that will only be triggered in response to significant crop disaster events. However, producers will be penalized 20% for enrolling late. CHC is carefully analyzing other proposed changes, including tweaks to Reference Margin Limitations, in order to provide meaningful feedback to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Upcoming consultations
CHC will be reaching out to members in the near future to discuss the AgriStability, AgriInvest, and AgriInsurance programs, and to look for ways in which these programs can continue to be of benefit.

For more information, see Upcoming changes to the Business Risk Management suite of programs under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership