UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE CHANGES MEAN TO YOU
In March 2012, the provincial government’s budget included the continuation of the Risk Management Program (RMP) with $100 million in annual funding. Grain Farmers of Ontario is pleased that the program will continue and that Ontario’s commodity organizations were able to collaborate on a Risk Management Program that will address the combined needs of Ontario’s farmers. We are also pleased to share the new details about how RMP will work starting with the 2013 program year.
The six commodity groups, Ontario Cattlemen’s Association, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, Ontario Pork, Ontario Sheep, Ontario Veal and Grain Farmers of Ontario, have worked well together to ensure the program will continue to benefit farmers. All six RMP plans will remain mostly unchanged – there will be a calculation of market price less inputs that will indicate whether your farm receives a payout, premiums will be required for participation in the program and all producers must participate in AgriStability and have a valid premises ID to be eligible to participate. Specific to the RMP: Grains and Oilseeds plan, the method of determining the pre- and post-harvest prices and the linkages with Production Insurance will also remain. The timelines of the program will not change and will continue to be closely aligned with Production Insurance deadlines.
The biggest change is the establishment of a premium fund. All premiums collected from producers will be retained in a fund outside of the government and managed by the commodity groups. Money in the fund will be applied to RMP calculated payments when government money doesn’t meet the needs of the program. Premiums not used to top up the Risk Management Program will be retained year over year in the fund until needed. The fund will differentiate premiums from each commodity group so commodities will accumulate premiums separately.
The $100 million annual funding will be shared among all six RMP plans. If a commodity has a great year and does not trigger money through the program, that money will be available to other commodities that need it. The intent is for all producers to have fair access and for money to flow, when possible, to commodities most in need as the year unfolds.
The cost to administer the program is included in the annual $100 million allocation from government. To ensure the greatest amount possible can be paid to producers enrolled in RMP, Agricorp and commodity groups are working together to maximize administration efficiencies and meet producer needs by assessing, costing and agreeing on all program changes.
In a year when the $100 million is not fully needed for the Risk Management Program, OMAFRA will work with Ontario’s agricultural leaders to find opportunities for that money to remain in the agricultural sector.
how the program will be managed
All of the commodity groups have individual reference committees that work closely with OMAFRA and Agricorp to make decisions specific to their commodity’s RMP plan. Beginning in 2013, there will also be a Joint Reference Committee that will include equal membership from each commodity group to make decisions about overall program objectives and the management of the premium fund.
for more information
We understand the $100 million annual funding has changed the program and before making a decision on participation, we encourage anyone interested to come learn more at the upcoming January meetings. A representative from Grain Farmers of Ontario and Agricorp will be at each January meeting to explain the program changes and answer any questions you may have. Check the GFO Newsletter in this issue of the magazine for the meeting date and location in your district. •