August 5, 2021
Agricorp understands the challenges that difficult weather can cause for farmers, including this year’s excessive precipitation in parts of southwestern Ontario, dry weather in eastern Ontario and storms across the province. Staff are already working with customers impacted by dry weather in northwestern Ontario. It’s important that farmers know about risk management program options and how their program coverage works so they can make decisions that are best for their farms.
Agricorp is always ready to help
Agricorp staff are ready to answer questions and can walk farmers through all their coverage options, all the way through to harvest and claims, based on each individual situation on their farm and in their fields. Agricorp has a plan in place to prioritize claims to get payments out to customers when they are needed most.
Farmers who have damage or are experiencing financial distress, and haven’t spoken with Agricorp yet, should contact us as soon as possible.
Farmers can access 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 is designed for situations like these and offers yield-based, acreage-loss and forage rainfall coverage. Production Insurance protects producers against the risk of production losses caused by insured perils, such as adverse weather. Coverage is available for grain and oilseed crops, forage, fruit, vegetables, sugar beets and other commodities, including processing crops.
Forage rainfall coverage
Forage rainfall coverage uses rainfall as an indicator of quantity and/or quality of forage. Coverage can protect established forage for insufficient rainfall and excess rainfall.
The determination of claims uses rainfall collected from collection sites situated across the area. There are 350 sites managed by a third-party service provider. Agricorp initiates claims based on rainfall data sent by this provider so customers don’t need to do anything to receive their payment.
The yield-based coverage provides a guaranteed level of production that is unique to each farm. Payments are made when an insured peril, like adverse weather, causes the yield to fall below the guarantee.
Production Insurance for spring and winter wheat includes a quality factor for when excess rainfall results in wheat being downgraded to grade 3 or feed grade. When winter and spring wheat yields are reported, a factor is automatically applied to any lower-grade crop, reducing the yield to reflect its lower value. The factored yield is used only for claim purposes. The unfactored yield is applied to the account history to determine a customer’s average farm yield for future years’ coverage. For more information ,read the Quality Factor Feature Sheet.
With acreage-loss coverage, any losses are compared against predetermined abandonment thresholds. These thresholds are based on the crop yields required to meet production costs for a typical field of that crop. A claim may be paid if the yield falls below the threshold level due to an insured peril. Spot-loss protection applies on a per-acre basis, rather than total acreage.
Other programs can help too
There is still time to secure or increase RMP coverage
Ontario's Risk Management Program for grains and oilseeds and for livestock 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.
Grain and oilseed farmers have until August 16 to enrol or make coverage changes, as long as they are already enrolled in Production Insurance. Livestock farmers have until August 31 to enrol, make changes and report Q1/2 sales. All of this can be done 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.
The 2021 self-directed risk management (SDRM) plan for edible horticulture will be available in the fall, but anyone with funds currently in their SDRM account can withdraw funds anytime by submitting a withdrawal request.
AgriStability coverage has improved
AgriStability protects producers from large declines in their margins caused by any combination of production loss, increased costs, lower prices, or lost markets. For example, producers could experience lower revenue due to lower yields or higher expenses associated with removing water from fields. These losses would be captured in a producer’s production margin.
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 from factors outside of their control, such as production losses, increased costs or market conditions. The changes are effective starting with the 2020 growing season.
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 agricorp.com.
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 deliver this program.
Agricorp is working closely with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and will continue to post any program updates and support on agricorp.com.