March 17, 2021
Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) continues to strongly encourage the Government of Alberta to accept the proposed changes to AgriStability, outlined by the federal government 110 days ago. We have expressed our clear support of Minister Bibeau’s recommendations that offer the federal portion of funding to remove the Reference Margin Limit (RML) and increase compensation rates from 70 to 80 percent.
The April 30 enrollment deadline for AgriStability is fast approaching, leaving limited time for implementation and encouraging higher producer uptake.
“We would like to see a commitment from the Alberta government sooner than later. These changes will support producers in Alberta and across the country, to better manage risk and aid our economic recovery,” said Melanie Wowk, ABP Chair.
Two out of three prairie provinces must support these recommendations before the changes to AgriStability can move forward. To date, Minister Bibeau has not received a response from the prairie provinces. A Federal-Provincial-Territorial meeting is being organized, at which Minister Bibeau has called for the provinces to come with the authority to act.
ABP has made our support of the recommendations known on multiple occasions, including a letter to Minister Dreeshen signed by 11 agriculture commodity groups.
The current AgriStability program provides limited support to lower cost structure sectors, such as cow calf. Many cow calf operations produce their own feed and have non-arm’s length expenses, which make their operational costs appear lower. The RML prevents these operations from triggering compensation unless they suffer devastating drops in yearly program revenue. Alberta’s beef producers need a more reactive risk management tool that is equitable across all agriculture sectors.