Inside this issue:
Successful Start to AgConnect
AgConnect, a new online tool for conducting AgriStability business is off to a great start. Since its launch on March 6, 2012, during Cropportunities in Swift Current, the response has been excellent. Due to the amount of AgConnect accounts that have been activated, we are expecting to see a large number of 2011 program applications submitted through this secure, online process. Using AgConnect to submit your program forms improves the opportunity for quicker processing.
We have received great comments from those who have activated their account. Many like the online access to a wide range of historical program information, such as the Calculation of Benefits statement and Enrolment/Fee Notice. AgConnect has also proven to be a good fit for participants and contact persons that like working online. They have told us the ability to submit program forms, through this secure online process, is a big step forward. While the positive feedback has been great, we have also been responding to the comments and suggestions provided by both producers and accountants. A number of enhancements have already been added to AgConnect, thanks to the feedback given. These enhancements include:
• printable eForms;
• a listing of all files and confirmation numbers submitted to SCIC using AgConnect. Look for “Submitted Files” in the menu list;
• for contact persons, an easy-to-view list of clients detailing whether program forms have been submitted or fees have been paid; and
• a notes feature to add additional details when submitting information using eForms.
SCIC is committed to making AgConnect an effective and useful tool for working with AgriStability. Watch for more improvements as we continue to respond to comments and suggestions.
If you have not activated your AgConnect account, we would encourage you to do so. It only takes a few minutes and it provides a great new option for working with the AgriStability program.
To access AgConnect you will need your SCIC ID number and AgConnect activation code. The SCIC ID can be found on previous SCIC correspondence such as your Enrolment/Fee Notice or Calculation of Benefits statement. The activation code was included in a letter SCIC sent to all participants and their contact persons in early March. If you cannot locate that letter or activation code, please contact the AgriStability Call Centre at 1-866-270-8450 or visit any of the 21 customer service offices to help you get started with AgConnect.
To find out more about AgConnect go to www.saskcropinsurance.com/agristability/agconnect.
Missing Information for Enrolment/Fee Notices
In June SCIC will be sending letters to AgriStability participants with missing information required to generate an Enrolment/Fee Notice. Participants who receive this letter have 45 days to provide the requested information or they will not be eligible for the 2012 program year. It is important if you receive one of these letters you respond by the deadline indicated. If you need more time to locate some of the requested information, please contact the AgriStability Call Centre or any of the 21 customer service offices to ensure you do not miss out on the opportunity to participate in the 2012 AgriStability Program.
Recording Payments from Support Programs
In 2011, there were a couple of targeted support programs for helping producers manage natural disasters in the province. The Excess Moisture Program (EMP) and the Saskatchewan Feed and Forage Program (SFFP) provided levels of funding to producers who met the qualifying criteria.
The AgriStability Program requires the income received from these programs be reported. These support payments will be considered allowable income for the 2011 program year. Please note, producers with non-calendar year-ends will want to ensure these program payments are recorded with the 2011 crop year.
Even though these payments are considered allowable income for the 2011 program year, they will be considered non-allowable income when 2011 moves into the reference margin period. This is to ensure the additional funding will not influence the long-term historical reference margin for the participant. Please ensure the right income codes are used when reporting the amount(s) received from any of these programs. The codes are:
612 - Canada – Saskatchewan Excess Moisture Program
616 - Saskatchewan Feed and Forage Program
Crop Insurance Premium Adjustment
The AgriStability and Crop Insurance Programs are designed to work together to ensure producers are not at a disadvantage by participating in both programs. If you receive a lower AgriStability benefit because you are also participating in Crop Insurance, you will receive a premium adjustment payment to help address the difference. In late June SCIC will begin calculating the Crop Insurance Premium Adjustment on all files submitted. Participants that qualify for the Crop Insurance Premium Adjustment will receive a letter and benefit cheque. Moving forward, this calculation will be conducted as new program files are submitted and processed.
To determine if you are eligible for a Crop Insurance Premium Adjustment, your AgriStability benefit is recalculated excluding your Crop Insurance indemnities and premiums from the reference years and program year. If your recalculated benefit is more than your original AgriStability benefit, plus your net Crop Insurance benefit, you will be issued a payment for the difference. This payment cannot exceed your Crop Insurance premiums paid for the program year.
Need help with the AgriStability program or AgConnect?
Program experts are available to help producers, accountants or form preparers. Contact an AgriStability Advisor or the AgriStability Call Centre
For more information
For further information please contact:
SCIC AgriStability Call Centre