Farm equipment in operation. Following a “difficult” 2019 agricultural year B.C. is raising interim payments on a federally/provincially-run income protection program for agricultural workers. (Black Press file photo)

Federal-provincial farmer income protection program raises interim payouts following 2019 season

The province is increasing maximum interim payments for qualifying participants of the program

Following a “difficult” 2019 agricultural year B.C. is raising interim payments on a federally/provincially-run income protection program for agricultural workers.

The province is increasing the maximum interim payment to 75 per cent of estimated final payout for agricultural workers taking part of their AgriStability income protection program.

Previously the maximum interim payment was set at 50 per cent, however in a Dec. 20 press release the Ministry of Agriculture said they would be making the increase to help farmers through a difficult 2019 year.

“Varied patterns of extreme weather and difficult market conditions in 2019 are expected to result in higher than average AgriStability program payments to farm producers,” the release says.

READ MORE: B.C. farmers to benefit from late participation program

“Increasing the maximum interim payment … will improve cash flow for farmers and help them continue operations as they recover from losses.”

All farmers enrolled in the program who expect to receive a payment are eligible for the increased interim payment.

The release points to a number of aggravating factors which have resulted in low crop yields across the province, including early snowfall in the Peace region, excessive rain in the Okanagan and a record-setting winter freeze for Fraser Valley residents in February 2019.

The AgriStability program is funded by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia to protect agricultural producers against declines in their net farming income due to market conditions, production loss or increased costs of production.

Payments are made if a producer’s current year margin falls more than 30 per cent below their reference margin, which is determined by detailed income information provided by prospective recipients looking to enroll in the program.

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