How it works

​​​​​​​​​AgriStability protects you when your net farming income falls below 70 percent of your recent average. To determine if you have a decline in your net farming income, two margins are calculated.​

AgriStability is a vital part of a farm's risk management plans, especially in times of disaster. If you are new to AgriStability, rejoining or already enrolled, check out the following slide show for an overview of how the program works and the benefits of participation.

Calculating your production margin

Production margin = Allowable income – allowable expenses + inventory adjustments

Allowable income and expenses are directly related to the production of a commodity. The income and expenses reported on your tax form are used to calculate your production margin.

To reflect any changes in the value of your inventory, inventory adjustments are calculated and added to your production margins. Fair market values are used to value your inventory adjustments. 

Calculating your reference margin

Your reference margin is your historical average of net farming income. It is calculated based on an Olympic average of your last five production margins (dropping the highest and lowest values).

New to farming?

Years ​of farming​Calculating your reference margin
Three to five yearsYour reference margin is based on your previous three production margins.
Less than three yearsIndustry average margins (per unit) are used to construct up to three production margins for your operation. Your reference margin is the average of these three production margins.

Changes in your operation?

If you significantly change commodities, expand or downsize your operation, you can expect your production margin to be different. In that case, your historical production margins are also adjusted, and then your reference margin is calculated using these adjusted figures. This ensures an accurate comparison between your farm's current year and previous years. If you expand your farm, your reference margin is increased. If you downsize, your reference margin is decreased.

Triggering payments

If your production margin is less than 70% of your reference margin, you trigger a payment.

How your payment is calculated

Your payment trigger is 70% of your reference margin. If your production margin falls below your payment trigger, AgriStability will pay you 70% of the difference, plus the AgriStability top-up payment, which is an increase to an 80% compensation rate on the provincial portion of the payment

Top-up payment = Margin decline × 10% × 40%* 

*AgriStability is cost-shared by the federal and provincial governments, with Ontario paying 40% of your payment.

The example below assumes a reference margin of $100,000, a corresponding payment trigger of $70,000 and a production margin of $60,000.

Payment = (Payment trigger – Production margin) x 70% + Ontario AgriStability top-up
= ($70,000 - $60,000) x 70% + 400
= $7,400

For more information, call Agricorp​ to speak with an AgriStability specialist.​

The maximum payment you may receive under AgriStability in a program year is $3 million.

AgriStability estimator tool

To help farmers understand how AgriStability works, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has developed an AgriStability estimator showing how program benefits are calculated and how different scenarios can affect a farmer's operations.

To use the estimator, farmers can enter high-level estimates. These estimates can be drawn from the Statement of Farming Activities that farmers file each year to the Canada Revenue Agency, or farmers can also use information from their previous AgriStability Calculation of Program Benefits statements.

Please note the estimator benefit amount does not include the Ontario AgriStability top-up amount. 

For answers to questions about the estimator, visit the help guide on the AAFC website.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership – Agricorp – Ontario – Canada