The federal and provincial governments have agreed to increase the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Saskatchewan producers.
Interim benefits can provide producers with a portion of their final AgriStability benefit early, to help support losses and cover costs. With this increase, Saskatchewan producers can apply for an interim benefit to receive 75 per cent of their estimated final 2020 benefit before completing their program year. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) is also waiving the six months farming and one production cycle criteria for participants applying for 2020 interim benefits.
“I want to reassure all farmers and food business owners that our government recognizes their vital contribution to our communities and is committed to helping them cope with this exceptional situation,” said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau. “These increased advance payments will enable Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers get the additional cash flow they need to continue their operations during these difficult times.”
“In these uncertain times, the AgriStability interim payment can help producers with cash flow needs,” Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said. “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.”
Interim benefits are calculated based on the farm’s estimated program year margin, relative to its estimated reference margin. The estimated program year margin must show a decline of 30 per cent or more compared to the estimated reference margin.
If a producer receives an interim benefit payment, they must still file all final program year forms and meet program requirements by the assigned deadlines. The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan understand the challenges facing producers during the unprecedented times created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Agriculture ministry will continue to evaluate their entire suite of business risk management programs to ensure they are meeting the needs of Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry.
To enrol in the AgriStability Program or to apply for an interim benefit, producers can contact their local SCIC office or call the AgriStability Call Centre toll-free at 1-886-270-8450. The deadline to enrol in AgriStability for the 2020 program year was extended to July 3, 2020.
SCIC AgriStability staff are available to assist producers over the phone at 1-866-270-8450 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.