Looking back to plan ahead

​With final enrolment dates approaching for business risk management programs, farmers are finalizing their 2017 coverage to make sure they are protected going into the growing season.

A look back at recent years shows some of the challenges farmers have faced that put their businesses at risk. Government programs such as AgriStability, Production Insurance and RMP provided a vital lifeline.

Sun representing abnormally dry weather

Abnormally dry weather across Ontario, especially in Niagara and Prince Edward County, caused stress to crops, lowered yields and reduced the availability of forage.

Rain cloud representing excessive rain

Excessive rain in Essex County delayed and even prevented spring planting and forage harvest. Livestock producers also saw declining market prices and rising costs.

Snowflake representing extended cold wet weather

Extended cold wet weather in northern Ontario made it difficult to plant crops in the fall and harvest them in the spring. It also led to lower yields and crop disease.

Getting ready for what 2017 may bring

When deciding on program coverage for the year ahead, farmers need to carefully consider all the risks their farms face. The federal and provincial governments provide business risk management programs to help mitigate these risks. Farmers have a few days left to renew or apply for all the coverage they need.

AgriStability helps manage unexpected, large declines in income for a low fee of $315 for every $100,000 of a farmer's reference margin. - Enrol by: April 30

Production Insurance guarantees a level of production in the face of low yields and crop losses caused by weather, wildlife, infestation and disease. - Enrol by: May 1

Risk Management Program offsets losses caused by market prices falling below production costs. - Enrol by: May 1 (RMP: Grains and Oilseeds)