Agriculture Minister Nate Horner says he's pretty happy with where they ended up for the next Ag Policy Framework.
The Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Agriculture Ministers agreeing in principle on the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The new program will take effect April 1, 2023 when the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership ends.
Horner says the federal government was very adamant on what they wanted to see in the policy.
"They had a lot of ambitions around climate. I'd say the provinces were very hesitant to bring climate policy into our BRM (business risk management) suite. We think that it's important that the risk management suite do just that, manage the risk of farmers on the ground. So even with all of those hesitations and concerns, I think it landed in a good place. We were able to see a 25% increase to the funding envelope, which was kind of a line in the sand for the provinces."
It had been over a decade of static funding and with the added initiatives of the federal government, the provinces felt it was imperative that the funding envelope be increased substantially.
He says they also agreed to increase the compensation rate for AgriStability from 70 per cent to 80 per cent, while they try to make the program more usable.
"There's still a desire to flesh out what a whole farm margin based insurance program would look like. But we kind of came to the conclusion that it's likely that it wouldn't be ready till 2028. So while that work continues, we think it's important and it's more than complicated and part of the reason why we thought we should increase the compensation rate while that work was being done."
Horner says there was two kinds of linkages, one to AgriInvest and one to AgriInsurance adding they agreed to a one year review and if positive could lead to a pilot for individual provinces on positive incentives.
"Probably in the form of a premium rebate on crop insurance for relevant best management practices within the province. An example I've been using just to make that easier to understand for people is something as simple as potentially soil testing. If the pilot showed that had an actuarial advantage to the insurance program, that potentially that could lead to a rebate. "
Then on the AgriInvest, provinces agreed that by 2025 for operations with allowable net sales, that exceeded a million dollars they would need an environmental farm plan or something of equivalence.
He says at that level that would equate to about nine per cent of the operations that use AgriInvest.
One key area they had to push to add to the agenda was the discussion around the Federal Government's target for fertilizer emissions reduction.
"Our disappointment was, although they're consulting through this process, they made clear that the actual target, the 30%, wasn't something that was on the table to be consulted, or changed, or amended. So we have definitely expressed some disappointment that we felt like all along, this was a number that they just plucked out of the air. We had hoped that after some time to reflect and understand what that potentially could mean to the ag sector, that they'd be willing to at least have a conversation around changing it. But it appears that they are not."
Horner is encouraging people to go online and take part in the Fertilizer emissions reduction target consultation process.
The consultation is open until August 31, 2022.