GFM Network News


The U.S. was already dramatically outspending Canada with its latest Farm Bill. But now it’s thrown repeated ad hoc programs at the sector under the guise of offsetting the effects of a trade war and the coronavirus.

Editor’s Take: The new normal of subsidies

Many would say Canada’s suite of agricultural business risk management programs is falling short of blunting the whipsaw of the markets. Now, it faces being further overwhelmed by non-market forces. That was the gist of a recent policy note issued by the Agri-Food Economic Systems think tank, authored by respected agricultural economists Al Mussell and

Comment: Delay to federal-provincial meetings disappointing but necessary

There were never many reasons to be optimistic federal and provincial governments would find a short-term solution to long-held concerns over Canada’s business risk management (BRM) programs. Another delay to a meeting of federal and provincial agriculture ministers to discuss the issue shouldn’t change this. Originally scheduled to happen in July, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted


“Eventually, sooner rather than later, we’d really like to see a positive income.” Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council.

Backlog prevention costs pork producers

[email protected] Marketing and the Manitoba Pork Council say they’re floating the idea of AgriRecovery, but don’t give much hope that government will pay out

Aggressive marketing appears to have kept independent hog producers from backing up despite COVID-19 cases piling up at Maple Leaf Foods in Brandon. Contingency measures have come with a cost, however, and those costs have hog sector leaders eyeing potential AgriRecovery funds. Why it matters: Pork tanked earlier this year due to a glut of

Pork producers call for a more targeted AgriStability

The Canadian Pork Council wants to leave AgriStability’s trigger where it is, but bolster compensation levels

Canada’s pork producers are offering up a new solution to long-standing frustrations from industry over the AgriStability program. In a letter to federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) agriculture ministers, the Canadian Pork Council is calling for an increase to the compensation rate offered under the business risk management program from the current 70 per cent to

Jill Verwey.

BRMs slow, complicated, kind of pointless, Manitoba farmers say

PROGRAM | Manitoba farmers weigh in on issues with AgriStability

The way some Manitoba farmers see it, they’d be better off if AgriStability didn’t exist. “AgriStability has never been there for cattle producers or grain producers, and definitely not there for the mixed producers,” said Mitch Janssens, who farms near Boissevain. Earlier this month, Ag Minister Blaine Pedersen said the program, long under fire from


Hog farmers face prolonged pain as pandemic gives way to glut

Canadian Pork Council takes new tack on AgriStability reform

Winnipeg | Reuters — North America’s hog farmers face prolonged pain beyond the COVID-19 pandemic that has interrupted packing plants , as a pig glut in the U.S. holds prices low and pressures producers to downsize. Many North American hogs had nowhere to go in spring as slaughter plants suspended production due to workers becoming

U.S. farm aid began shooting up in 2018 thanks to Washington’s ‘market facilitation program’ but will go sky high this year after President Donald Trump pledged $16 billion for farmers hurt by the pandemic.

Farm aid is raining down south of the border, but not in Canada

These farmers say they don’t want bailouts — but effective risk management programs are needed

American farmers will receive record-high amounts of farm aid this year, but Canadian producers say they don’t want a handout — just a business risk management program that works. The current programs, such as AgriStability, don’t function well, said Sexsmith, Alta.-area farmer Greg Sears. “It’s not predictable, it’s not timely, and it rarely pays out —

Ag Minister Blaine Pedersen speaks to producers in Neepawa during a tour of the province in this photo posted to Twitter.

Manitoba ag minister asks for producer engagement ahead of annual ministers’ conference

AgriStability among issues top of mind during Pedersen’s tour of province

The province is asking farmers to give their opinions on several topics ahead of October’s annual meeting of provincial ag ministers. “We are committed to bringing the voices of farmers forward,” said Blaine Pedersen, minister of agriculture and resource development in an Aug. 4 news release. Through an online forum, the province is inviting producers


Federal committee sends BRM recommendations to Bibeau

The letter from the Commons agriculture committee trod on some familiar ground

The parliamentary committee studying business risk management (BRM) programs has highlighted potential changes in a letter sent to Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, Liberal MP Pat Finnigan, wrote the letter in advance of the July 3 enrolment deadline for AgriStability so that Bibeau could work

Livestock producers say AgriStability doesn’t fit their sector because beef and pork producers have few eligible expenses to trigger payment.   file photo

Livestock producers say BRMs a poor fit for sector

Cattle and pork producers say the programs simply don’t understand the business model of their sectors

Canadian livestock producers say existing risk management programs aren’t working for their operations. In particular, representatives from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Canadian Pork Council singled out AgriStability during recent meetings of the parliamentary Agriculture and Agri-Food committee. AgriStability largely operates based on reference margin limits, but many cattle and pork producers have low eligible expenses,