Agriculture is unpredictable.

Producers can control their cropping plans and their management methods, but they can’t control the weather or the markets. However, they can manage their risk with AgriStability.

AgriStability, a whole-farm risk management tool, helps producers protect their operation from large margin declines that may threaten the viability of their farm. Coverage is based on the unique history of each participating farm and benefits are calculated by comparing each farm’s current year numbers to the past five years.

Given that Alberta has recently experienced several drier than average years, producers may want to consider adding AgriStability to their risk management toolkit for 2024.

“Despite recent snowfalls, there is still a significant risk that this summer will continue to be drier than normal,” said Emmet Hanrahan, vice president Product Innovation with Agriculture Financial Services (AFSC). “Producers may want to consider looking at additional risk management options to help them prepare for what could be a challenging growing season.”

AgriStability is more responsive and easier to navigate than in the past. With the removal of the reference margin limit, a 30 per cent drop in the current year may trigger a payout. Sectors most likely to benefit from the removal of limiting include livestock producers who grow their own feed, organic and commercial crop and forage producers, members of the apiary industry and mixed farmers.

Irrigation & AgriStability

Producers who irrigate may want to consider participating in both AgriStability and crop insurance, given the potential for irrigation water rationing and declining crop commodity prices. When used together, these programs offer a more thorough risk management approach for farming operations.

AgriStability takes into account circumstances beyond a producer’s control such as water shortages, along with other risks like production loss, market challenges, or increased expenses that may arise during 2024.

Private insurance & AgriStability

Payments from private insurance programs are not factored into the current year’s calculations for AgriStability but are included in the farm’s historical records. This boosts the historical coverage level, while ensuring that producers aren’t penalized in the current program year for actively managing their risk through private insurance. This advantage includes both Livestock Price Insurance and AFSC Straight Hail Insurance.

“We understand that some producers find AgriStability a bit complex, so we’ve made efforts to enhance our clients’ overall experience,” said Hanrahan. “We’ve bolstered our online tools, including the Expert Zone and Live Chat on our website and AFSC Connect.

“Our goal is to ensure that our clients have easy access to the information they need and can readily seek assistance if required. Additionally, we’ve introduced an online form submission option, allowing clients to submit their forms at their convenience.

“We’ve put in considerable effort to simplify things for our clients and improve processing times, aiming to expedite returns to producers’ pockets as quickly as possible.”

Your farm & AgriStability

Each farm is different, and one of AgriStability program’s strengths is its individualized nature. If you want to learn how AgriStability might fit in your risk management plan, please reach out to our team members today and find out how your farm could benefit from AgriStability.

If you’ve already made the decision to participate, enrolling in AgriStability is straightforward and requires just a few simple steps. For more information, visit the New to AgriStability page, reach out to our Client Care Centre at 1.877.899.2372, or contact your preferred branch office.

The enrolment deadline for the 2024 program year is April 30.