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In June 2002, the Government launched the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF), which provided $1.1 billion in annual funding for Business Risk Management programs, including the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) Program, Production Insurance, and cash advance programs. To improve the business risk management tools available to farmers, Budget 2005 is providing $104 million over four years to extend agricultural cash advance programs to livestock producers, starting in the 2006 production year. Amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act will be proposed to ensure that current cash advance programs are consistent with the ";whole farm"; principles of the APF and provide additional support to producers facing difficulties due to BSE.
Canada’s farmers and farm communities have shown enormous resilience over the past several years in coping with an unprecedented combination of crises arising from weather, animal disease and difficult market conditions abroad. The Government will continue to support producers through its Agricultural Policy Framework to manage through these difficult times and be more competitive at home and abroad. To that end, the Government agrees with Canada’s farmers that producers should not be required to put funds on deposit annually in order to be eligible for the Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization (CAIS) program. The Government is committed to working with its provincial partners and with stakeholders to find a better means of effectively engaging producers in joint management of business risk under CAIS.
I touched for a moment on the CAIS program. I just want to emphasize how frustrated farmers are with this program. It is not doing the job. We can have a situation where people have lost money every year for the five year period that the formula applies to for the CAIS program and if in the last year they lose less money than they lost the year before they will not trigger a payout. They will be losing money. However, if in four years out of five years they make money and in the last year they lose a little bit of money or make less money they will trigger a payout. It is crazy. We have a situation where people who are in dire economic straits, on the cusp of losing their farm, will not get a payout on this program. It makes absolutely no sense and yet the minister stands in this place and defends the CAIS program.
How bad is it?
In 2003 farm incomes went negative for the first time since the 1930s. Interestingly that same year when the CAIS program came in, $1.4 billion was allocated but it still could not be triggered. Even though farmers were in this terrible income crisis, it still would not trigger payouts to all kinds of people who were losing tremendous amounts of money.
Richard Bianchi was lucky enough to get a decent crop off this year, but the southern Alberta grain grower isn't feeling so lucky.
The settlement cheque he received for malt barley, valued at a little more than $10,000 for just shy of 90 tonnes, is made out in the amount of $0.00.
"Never in my farming history have I received a zero-balance cheque," says Bianchi, 56, who farms three sections in southern Alberta near the Montana border.
Originally posted by Dulcimer
How can we prove this money is actually fully out there? Who is getting the big payouts? My guess would be massive farm businesses, in the tens of thousands of acres and cattle producers.
But the family farm is dying.