B.C. grants late AgriStability enrolment for 2018

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Fire, flooding and a drop in raspberry prices in 2018 have spurred the federal and British Columbia governments to trigger the AgriStability late-participation mechanism.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her provincial counterpart Lana Popham, at an event Monday in Vernon, B.C., invoked the new late-participation rule for the 2018 AgriStability program year, “to help farmers access needed support to deal with income losses.”

A new addition for the Canadian Agriculutral Partnership ag policy funding framework, the late-participation mechanism allows producers to enter the program late in program years where farmers see a “significant” income decline and a gap in program participation.

The mechanism, which the federal government’s and affected province’s ag departments may only trigger in response to agreed-upon “significant events” in a given year, still cuts program benefits by 20 per cent for late enrollees.

In B.C.’s case, the governments said Monday, the ag sector was impacted by “several major production and market losses” due to “unprecedented” spring flooding, substantial damage to farms and farmland in forest fires and a “dramatic” decline in market prices for raspberries.

Triggering late participation means “hundreds” more farmers and ranchers in B.C. will be eligible to join AgriStability for the 2018 year, the governments said.

The federal and B.C. governments in October also set up a $5 million AgriRecovery program in response to the 2018 wildfires, which burned 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres) of land.

Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia so far have also already triggered their late participation mechanisms for the 2018 program year.

Absent the late participation mechanism, the deadline for producers to apply for a 2018 AgriStability interim payment is March 31, 2019. (Since March 31 is a Sunday, producers technically have until April 1 to apply.)

The deadline to submit the 2018 AgriStability/AgriInvest harmonized form is Sept. 30, 2019. Harmonized forms submitted between Sept. 30 and Dec. 31, 2019 are accepted but are subject to a late penalty. –– Glacier FarmMedia Network

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