Financial Assistance

AgriStability

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

AgriStability is a Business Risk Management Program under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

It helps farmers manage income risk by providing financial assistance when their farm business experiences a large margin decline.

The federal government pays 60 per cent of the cost of the program and the provincial government pays 40 per cent.


WHO QUALIFIES

All farmers are eligible, including those farming on reserve lands, if they conduct at least six months of farming activity and complete a production cycle within their fiscal year.

Farmers must report farming income for income tax purposes or submit the equivalent information, if tax-exempt.

Farmers must also meet all program requirements, including deadlines for sending information and paying program fees.

All agricultural commodities are eligible except for aquaculture, forestry products, peat moss, game, cannabis, and the processing or resale of items not produced by the farmer.


AVAILABLE ASSISTANCE

Margins

Support under AgriStability is based on margins defined as the difference between allowable income and allowable expenses.

  • Income and expenses directly related to the production of farm commodities are considered allowable. (ex: commodity sales or purchases, fuel, inputs, and AgriInsurance proceeds and premiums.) Margins are adjusted for changes in inventory, accounts payable and receivable, and purchased inputs.
  • Other income such as custom work, rental income, or program payments are not considered allowable, nor are expenses such as overhead, repairs, rent, interest, or depreciation.

By using margins, the program responds to changes in input costs and commodity prices, but treats all farmers similarly regardless of their equipment holdings, business structure, or debt load. Commodity sales, fuel, fertilizer, pesticides and feed - all of which tend to be highly variable - are included in the margin calculation.

Support is based on the reference margin, or historical average margin based on a farmer's actual results, except for beginning farmers, whose reference margin is calculated using industry averages. Farms that expand or downsize have their reference margins adjusted accordingly. The reference margin is calculated by using the average of the margins over the past five years, excluding the years with the highest and lowest margins. If the participant hasn't farmed for five years yet, the average of the past three years is used instead. 

  • The reference margin is limited to the average allowable expenses in the three years used in the reference margin calculation.
  • the original reference margin cannot be reduced by more than 30 per cent.the 2018 program year, the original reference margin cannot be reduced by more than 30 per cent.

The program year margin is the margin in the current year, which is then compared to the reference margin to determine whether a margin decline has occurred.

Payment Calculation

A payment is made, based as follows:

Margin Decline                         Payment Rate
    0 – 30 %                                                 n/a
      > 30 %                                                 70 %

If the program year margin is negative, the farmer receives a payment for the negative portion of the margin decline provided it could not have been covered by AgriInsurance.

Payment Limitations

Payments are limited to $3 million per participant.  A minimum payment of $250 applies.

The income and expense information of two or more related participants may be combined if their operations are part of a whole farm, even though they report separately for income tax purposes.

Interim Payments

To help with cash flow during periods of income decline, farmers can apply for interim payments. For details, go to: www.agr.gc.ca/agristability


HOW TO APPLY

At the beginning of the fiscal year, farmers receive an Enrolment Notice from program administration that specifies program fees and the payment deadline.

  • New participants must submit the information needed to estimate the reference margin and generate the Enrolment Notice. Farmers who were not in the program in the previous year must contact program administration to get the application package. 
  • Existing participants are automatically enrolled (and obligated to pay the fee) unless they indicate by the deadline that they do not want to participate.

At the end of the year, farmers are to submit information used to calculate the current year's margin and the actual reference margin. The administration tells the farmer about the margin change and any program payment.

Full details and instructions are available at www.agr.gc.ca/agristability.


WHO TO CONTACT

The above information is intended as a guide only.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada administers the AgriStability program in Manitoba. Program administration can be reached at 1-866-367-8506.

For general information on the AgriStability program, contact your local Manitoba Agriculture office.

 

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