July 29, 2021
Agricorp understands that dry weather in northwestern Ontario is causing difficulties for farmers and wants them to know how programs can help. It's important to know about the program options available and how coverage works so farmers can make decisions that are best for their farms.
Agricorp is here to help
Agricorp staff are ready to answer questions and can walk farmers through all their coverage options and the claims process, based on each individual situation. Agricorp has a plan in place to prioritize these claims to get payments made when they are needed most.
Staff are already working directly with customers in the affected area to go through their coverage options. Agricorp is calling farmers and will continue to be there every step of the way through to harvest and claims.
Farmers who haven't spoken with Agricorp yet should call as soon as possible.
Farmers can access program payments faster by following these tips:
- Report damage as soon as it is evident. The sooner damage is reported, the sooner Agricorp can help producers with the next steps
- Report damage or yield for each crop separately, so Agricorp can process possible payments right away
- Apply for
interim AgriStability payments if experiencing financial distress
- Make sure tax forms used for AgriStability are submitted
Production Insurance offers different types of coverage
Production Insurance offers yield-based coverage for grains and oilseeds as well as forage rainfall coverage.
Forage rainfall coverage
Forage rainfall coverage determines claims using rainfall collected from rainfall collection sites situated across the area. There are 350 sites managed by a third party service provider who sends the data to Agricorp. Agricorp posts this
rainfall data online and uses it to initiate claims. Rainfall is collected up to the end of August and provided to Agricorp by the service provider later in September. Once data is received, claims are initiated and the customer does not need to do anything to receive their payment. Customers select their rainfall stations at renewal and these stations are listed in their renewal packages.
Yield-based coverage provides options
Yield-based coverage provides a guaranteed level of production that is unique to each farm. Drought is an insured peril under the program, and a claim is paid if a farmer's yield falls below their guarantee.
Harvesting early for livestock feed
Many customers may consider harvesting their crops early as feed for livestock. Production Insurance allows customers to harvest the crop for livestock feed and considers the damage to the crop in determining any claims.
Farmers may harvest their crop for a different use, such as grazing and green feeding, for their own farm or for another farmer. If a farmer needs to harvest a crop early as green feed, Agricorp will determine and apply an equivalent yield that accounts for the quality and quantity of the underdeveloped crop. This flexibility is available to producers regardless of the quality of their crop. The
Harvesting Crops for Alternate Uses feature sheet provides more details.
Some farmers may not be harvesting some or all of their crop because the damage is too severe. For these claims, Agricorp would inspect the crop and work with the customer to determine whether to assign a zero yield to any unharvested acres. When a zero yield is assigned, that crop is excluded from the total yield for claims.
When a zero yield is determined, an adjuster will work with the customer on a case-by-case basis to discuss options, including what to do with the damaged crop.
Whether the yield is established based on a different end use or even if a zero yield is applied because it has no value as feed, a buffering feature is used on any extreme yields. This means a bad year does not significantly affect a farmer's 10-year average farm yield (AFY). Buffering helps to stabilize the AFY and lessen the impact of extreme yields.
Farmers with Production Insurance coverage need to contact Agricorp before harvesting a crop early or abandoning it. Agricorp will prioritize calls related to this situation.
Other programs can help too
Still time to secure or increase RMP coverage for livestock or grains and oilseeds
Ontario's Risk Management Program (RMP) for livestock and grains and oilseeds helps farmers manage risks beyond their control, like fluctuating costs and market prices. To give farmers more time and flexibility to make decisions and assess coverage needs, RMP timelines have been extended this year.
Farmers have until August 16 to enrol or increase their coverage for grains and oilseeds, as long as they are already enrolled in Production Insurance. For livestock coverage, farmers have until August 31 to enrol, increase coverage and report Q1/Q2 sales, all of which can be completed on agricorp.com.
To further support farmers after increasing RMP funding to $150 million, the Government of Ontario is keeping 2021 premium rates the same as 2020 premium rates.
AgriStability coverage has improved
AgriStability provides whole farm coverage to help cover large declines in net income. AgriStability also includes an option for interim payments, which farmers can apply for if they are in financial distress and have completed six months of their fiscal year. More information and applications for an AgriStability interim payment are on
AgriStability coverage has been improved this year. The government of Ontario increased the compensation rate for AgriStability from 70 per cent to 80 per cent on the provincial portion of payments that Ontario farmers receive. This is in addition to the combined federal and provincial support to remove the reference margin limit. These changes will better help Ontario farmers who have been impacted by large income losses due to factors outside of their control, such as production losses, increased costs or market conditions. The changes are effective starting with the 2020 growing season.
AgriInvest can help with cash flow
AgriInvest is a savings account that producers can use to either cover small income declines or support other investments by depositing up to one per cent of their allowable net sales into a bank account to receive a matching government contribution. In Ontario,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada delivers this program.
Livestock tax deferral may be offered
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) also offers livestock tax deferrals to producers in identified municipalities affected by drought. The tax deferral would allow cattle producers who sold part of their breeding herd due to dry weather conditions to defer a portion of sale proceeds to the following year when they replenish their livestock.
AAFC has published a preliminary list of Prescribed Drought and Flood Regions for those regions where it appears that the criteria will be met. The current list includes parts of Ontario, including the northwest region. Agricorp will provide any data to support the proper identification of further areas in Ontario that are eligible for the Livestock Tax Deferral, both now and as the growing season continues. For more information, visit
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Government providing emergency support for northwestern Ontario farmers
On July 27, the Ontario government
announced support to farmers in northwestern Ontario by providing assistance for emergency measures for feed, water and basic livestock needs due to the ongoing drought conditions in the region.
Agricorp will deliver the Temporary Fencing & Emergency Water component of the Northwestern Livestock Emergency Assistance Initiative. More information about applications will be available soon on agricorp.com.
Agricorp will continue to post any program updates and support on agricorp.com as information becomes available.