Two farmers from Manitoba have come up with a proposed companion or top-up program for the farm safety net known as AgriStability. They’re calling their plan AgriStability Plus. It’s based on a cost of production model for farms as compared to the margin-based system used for AgriStability. Under the proposal, farmers would cover the cost of the top-up through premiums, while the program would be underwritten by the federal government. Murray Downing, a grain producer from Reston, Manitoba and Bryan Ferriss, a pork producer from Bowsman, Manitoba say their program would address many of the concerns with the current stabilization program where several years of poor returns erodes any support. Manitoba Pork Council has endorsed a discussion paper on AgriStability Plus that was prepared by Downing and Ferriss, with assistance from a farm management consultant. Personally, I have difficulty believing a cost of production program like this one could ever be actuarially sound. However, the discussion paper is an interesting read, with a number of farm examples. That discussion paper is posted at
www.manitobapork.com. I’m Kevin Hursh.