MBP statement on proposed changes to AgriStability

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) is restating its call for the Manitoba government to support the federal government’s proposed changes to AgriStability

January 27, 2021

Manitoba’s beef producers – like their Canadian counterparts – face considerable risks, including natural disasters such as droughts and excess moisture events, the potential for animal disease outbreaks, trade disruptions, and other unforeseen events. The beef industry has long been advocating for changes to business risk management (BRM) programs like AgriStability, including the removal of the Reference Margin Limit (RML), increases to the payment trigger and compensation rate, and adjustments to the payment cap. Changes such as these are needed to address BRM program shortcomings related to cattle production.

MBP believes the proposed removal of the RML as advanced at the November federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture meetings would go a long way toward increasing the predictability and bankability of the program and ultimately make it more equitable, particularly for cow-calf producers, but also others in the sector. Similarly, an increase in the compensation rate from 70% to 80% would be beneficial for the industry.

Having access to a more robust and responsive AgriStability program could help instill greater confidence in Manitoba’s cattle producers and encourage future investment and growth. MBP believes that possible program improvements like those being proposed following the FPT meetings are vital steps toward addressing some of the beef industry concerns related to the existing suite of BRM programs. The proposed changes would be helpful not only for the 2020 program year, but beyond. MBP again asks that the Manitoba government support the federal government’s proposal as it represents a major – and overdue – advance in addressing industry concerns related to programs like AgriStability.

MBP also recognizes that governments are examining long-term adjustments to BRM programs to make them more responsive and effective. Analyzing all potential options to enhance BRM tools has significant merit, but until such time as initiatives like these may bear fruit MBP believes it is essential that the existing suite of tools works for cattle producers and that opportunity exists now. A stronger beef sector will benefit both the national and provincial economies and MBP asks the Manitoba government to support the proposal that is on the table.

Manitoba Beef Producers is the exclusive voice of the beef industry in Manitoba, representing 6,300 producers. MBP’s mission is to represent all beef producers through communication, advocacy, research, and education – within the industry and to governments, consumers and others, to improve prosperity and ensure a sustainable future.

For more information:

Carson Callum, General Manager

204-772-4542

David Hultin, Communications

204-558-4502 / dhultin@mbbeef.ca