Policy Initiatives

Business Risk Management Program Renewal

Business Risk Management (BRM) programs include: AgriStability, AgriInsurance, AgriInvest and AgriRecovery.

AgriStability is a program meant to help producers manage significant risks and protect their operations from income declines that are beyond their control (ie. trade disputes and weather). Changes to the program have reduced its effectiveness and has resulted in low enrolment across the province.

The Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, was tasked in 2019 with carrying forward a mandate to undertake a review of risk management programs, in conjunction with provinces and territories, with a special focus on AgriStability.

The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions, together with Team Alberta, have been aligned with the agricultural industry across Canada in advocating for specific changes to AgriStability as a bridge to a new sustainable coverage model for the next policy framework (March 2023). The primary focus of our advocacy includes;

a)  Permanent removal of the Reference Margin Limiting (RML) and;

b)  A return to the 85% AgriStability coverage.

The commissions and Team Alberta have emphasized the need to remove the RML immediately. When it was introduced under the current program framework it created inequity within the AgriStability program amongst varied farm structures in the sector. The grains and oilseed sector, as well as other agricultural sub-sectors, are disadvantaged by these changes with respect to the calculation of allowable expenses.

In the long-term we support the need for meaningful change to the BRM programs that will improve the: predictability, timeliness, bankability and equity of the programs.

March 2021 update: 
The federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers came to an agreement to remove the RML, retroactive to the 2020 program year and extending the 2021 deadline for producer enrollment to June 30, 2021.

June 2021 update: 
The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions have developed, AgriStability: what removing the reference margin limit means for your farm as an additional resource in response to the removal of the reference margin limit. 

September 2021 update:
Team Alberta, a working collaboration between Alberta’s four crop commissions (Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Wheat Commission) sent a letter to Minister Dreeshen on behalf of its farmer members, requesting the government acknowledge the impact of the drought on the crop sector, which will directly impact rural economies across the province.