Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Saskatchewan to bump up AgriStability interim payouts

Allowable percentage of final benefit raised

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Saskatchewan farmers hoping to boost cash flow with an AgriStability interim payment can now apply to get up to three-quarters of their final payment for 2020.

The Saskatchewan and federal governments announced an agreement Friday to increase the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage to 75 per cent for producers in that province, up from the standard 50.

The agreement allows Saskatchewan farmers applying for an interim payout to get 75 per cent of their estimated final 2020 benefit before completing the AgriStability program year — whereas interim payments are usually limited to 50 per cent “to reduce the risk of overpayment,” as Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. (SCIC) puts it.

SCIC said Friday it will also waive the production cycle criteria for participants applying for 2020 interim benefits. Normally a farmer applying for an interim AgriStability benefit must first have completed a production cycle and six consecutive months of farming activity in the program year.

The decision follows an agreement last week between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to extend the 2020 program year enrolment deadline for AgriStability to July 3.

Interim benefits are calculated based on a farm’s estimated program year margin, relative to its estimated reference margin. That estimated program year margin must show a decline of 30 per cent or more compared to the estimated reference margin.

A farmer who gets an interim benefit payment must still file all final program year forms and meet program requirements by the assigned deadlines, the province said.

“In these uncertain times, the AgriStability interim payment can help producers with cash flow needs,” provincial Ag Minister Dave Marit said in a release Friday. “If a producer qualifies for an interim benefit, this is a great way to get additional funds for their operation before filing their final application.”

Saskatchewan farmers wanting to enrol in AgriStability or apply for the interim benefit can contact their local SCIC office or call the AgriStability Call Centre toll-free at 1-886-270-8450. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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