In this issue:
- AgriStability Enrolment
- Enrolment Fee/Notice deadline
- New participants
- Withdrawing from AgriStability
- Changing Business Structure
- Working with other BRM programs
- Prep Report
- Using AgConnect
- Access support
Each spring Saskatchewan producers have the opportunity to participate in the AgriStability Program. April 30th is an important date as it is the deadline to enrol and pay the program fee. By meeting this deadline producers are ensuring they can participate in an important business risk management program.
The AgriStability Program remains an effective option for protecting the financial foundation of a farming operation. It is designed to protect against events which are beyond a producer’s control, such as declining commodity prices or rising input costs. Participation in AgriStability is also one of the ways producers can access the Advance Payments Program.
The initial deadline for producers to ensure they have their risk protection for the 2018 program year is April 30, 2018. Notices outlining the fees to participate were issued to most producers in March.
When reviewing the fee producers should keep in mind the cost is $4.50 for every $1,000 of reference margin covered, multiplied by 70 per cent. This works out to be $315 for every $100,000 of reference margin covered and there is a $55 administration fee. AgriStability is a low-cost option for protecting the financial foundation of the farm.
All participants are given 30 days from the date on their Enrolment/Fee Notice or until April 30, 2018, whichever is later, to pay these fees. If the annual program fee is paid after the initial deadline date, there will be a 20 per cent penalty added to the fee amount. This additional cost is explained on the Enrolment/Fee Notice and can be paid up until the final deadline of December 31, 2018.
To apply for AgriStability, new producers must call the SCIC AgriStability Call Centre and request enrolment for the 2018 Program year. To generate an enrolment notice, producers will be asked a few simple questions over the phone, with no requirement of supplying historical farm information. This conversation must happen prior to the Enrolment/Fee April 30 deadline for the program year in which they wish to participate.
As a result of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, there are fewer barriers to enter the Program, as the application process will be simplified involving fewer forms. For benefit processing, new participants now have the choice of providing three or five years of their operation’s historical information to allow us to calculate the reference margin. This simplified process will make it easier for new participants to join the Program. Once a producer is enrolled in the AgriStability Program, he/she will annually receive an Enrolment/Fee Notice.
The Enrolment/Fee Notice also provides producers with the opportunity to cancel participation in the AgriStability Program. If producers want to cancel, they can select to withdraw for the 2018 program year or they can select to completely end their participation in AgriStability. Producers that opt out for the 2018 year will need to contact the AgriStability Call Centre before the following program year enrolment deadline to rejoin the program. These options are outlined in the Enrolment/Fee Notice; however, the producer must indicate their intention to withdraw by the required deadline. If the producer does not opt out by the deadline they will be automatically enrolled and required to pay the program fee.
April 30, 2018, is an important date for AgriStability participants that have changed the business structure of their farm. Participants who have changed their farm from a sole proprietorship to a corporation or a corporation to a sole proprietorship, or have transitioned to a partnership during the 2017 fiscal year, need to indicate this change to SCIC by April 30, 2018.
For participants involved in a partnership change, they need to complete and submit the Change Business Type form to SCIC by the end of April. For those involved in restructuring from an individual to a corporation or vice versa, there are a couple of steps involved. First the participant must complete the Cancel Participation form and provide an explanation of the change in the business type of the farm operation. The next step is to complete the Change Business Type form. Once these forms are completed they are to be submitted to SCIC by April 30 and must include a copy of the Section 85 Rollover provided to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The forms can be found at: www.saskcropinsurance.com/agristability/forms.
AgriStability is part of the Canadian Partnership Agreement's suite of business risk management (BRM) programs. As part of this group AgriStability is designed to work with other risk management options, such as Crop Insurance and AgriInvest. Each program is designed to provide support for different risks the farm operation may face. When combined, all risk management programs can provide effective protection for a farming operation.
Producers are reminded that participation in the AgriStability Program can also help to access the Advance Payments Program. Security is required for producers who take out a cash advance through the Advance Payments Program and participation in AgriStability can be used for producers to secure the cash advance. More information on the Advance Payments Program can be found at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website.
Crop Insurance customers, did you know the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) has a report available that can assist with filing your AgriStability application?
The AgriStability Prep Report provides the details of a producer’s seeded acres as reported for the Crop Insurance Program. The Prep Report also includes details on the harvested production from a producer’s production declaration. Crop Insurance customers can access this information for a specific crop year or for a number of crops years.
Acres reported to Crop Insurance as establishment benefit acres and/or unseeded acres are captured in this report; however, an improved report is being developed and will be made available in the near future to more easily identify these acres. If these acres are not correctly identified on the application it could impact a producer’s AgriStability benefit calculation.
The AgriStability Prep Report can be accessed by calling the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450, contacting your local crop insurance office or through CropConnect.
Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers enrolled in AgriStability have access to AgConnect, the web-based platform for conducting AgriStability business. Through the secure AgConnect website producers can submit forms, review historical program information, view their detailed calculation of benefits and Enrolment Fee/Notice. AgConnect has made it easier for producers to meet the requirements of the program and applications are processed quicker.
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation has 21 customer service offices across the province where producers can access support for the AgriStability Program. Contact your local Crop Insurance office if you have questions about the AgriStability Program or call the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 where staff can review AgriStability coverage, fees and answer any other questions producers may have. Program advisors are also located around the province providing additional expertise about the programs SCIC delivers. These advisors can review the risk protection available through the different programs and help custom fit the coverage to meet the needs of each farming operation.
We're here to help.
If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-866-270-8450 or agristability.scic.gov.sk.caClick here to access our Customer Service Office listings»