APAS at Work
Since the last issue of Saskatchewan Farmers’ Voice, a devastating drought has been impacting producers across the province. The drought has been a top issue for APAS, and we are focused on advocating for more government and business support for struggling farmers and ranchers. While focused on the drought, APAS has also been sharing its federal election priorities and recently created a new NPF Task Force to help shape the future of agriculture in Canada through the Next Agricultural Policy Framework that will be implemented in 2023.
For more information on APAS policy and advocacy work, visit apas.ca/policy
In the spring, when farmers started to worry about the lack of rain in the province, APAS staff worked to determine key areas within the agricultural sector that would need additional financial support from both the federal and provincial governments. On July 19, APAS released a drought plan that called for governments to initiate disaster assistance funding through the AgriRecovery Framework. The plan also requested changes to Saskatchewan Crop Insurance coverage for insured crops to expedite the conversion of crops into livestock feed. APAS also called for the AgriStability enrollment deadline to be extended, an increase in the AgriStability compensation rate, and the Livestock Tax Deferral program to become province-wide with eligibility spread over five years and covering all classes of cattle. Following the APAS Drought Plan release, the Province of Saskatchewan implemented changes to the SCIC policy on converting insured crops into feed, increased contributions for livestock water infrastructure development projects, and initiated an AgriRecovery assessment that concluded with the 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative on August 30. Throughout the summer, APAS led numerous public and government relations activities to highlight the severity of the 2021 drought and its impact on Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers.
"Following the APAS Drought Plan release, the Province of Saskatchewan implemented changes to the SCIC policy on converting insured crops into feed, increased contributions for livestock water infrastructure development projects, and initiated an AgriRecovery assessment that concluded with the 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative on August 30."
"Throughout the summer, APAS led numerous public and government relations activities to highlight the severity of the 2021 drought and its impact on Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers."
Request for AgriStability enrollment deadline extension and compensation rate increase
This summer, APAS and eight other Saskatchewan agricultural organizations lobbied the provincial government to extend the AgriStability enrollment deadline and i ncrease the program’s compensation rate to 80%. This coalition of Saskatchewan agricultural organizations acknowledged the Government of Saskatchewan’s AgriRecovery support for livestock producers and the and Crop Insurance changes, but the group continued calling for changes to AgriStability because many farmers had no way of knowing the impact of the drought on their crops before the enrollment deadline of June 30.
APAS submission to the Canada Grain Act Review
APAS sent its Canada Grain Act Review submi ssion to AAFC. The mandate and governance structure of the Canada Grain Act needs to be maintained, plus outward inspection has to remain a function of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). APAS also proposes greater transparency in market information and increased federal funding to the CGC
"Saskatchewan producers want their priorities heard during the NPF consultation, and APAS has created an NPF Task Force on this issue."
APAS Next Policy Framework Task Force
The federal government recently launched its consultation to create the Next Policy Framework (NPF). The NPF is a five-year (2023–2028) investment by federal and provincial governments to strengthen Canada's agricultural sector. Saskatchewan producers want their priorities heard during the NPF consultation, and APAS has created an NPF Task Force on this issue. APAS Vice President Bill Prybylski is the Chair of the Task Force, along with other APAS Directors and Saskatchewan producers. This summer, APAS made a submission to the federal government with various principles and objectives that APAS would like the federal government to create to follow during the creation of the new agricultural framework.
Task Force Members
Chair: Bill Prybylski – RM of Garry #245 Norm Hall – RM of Emerald #227 Scott Owens – RM of Eldon #471 Brent Freedman – RM of Willow Creek #458 Trevor Green – RM of Moosomin #121 Devon Walker - RM of Wilton #472
Rural Connectivity Task Force Final Report
After months of research and speaking to industry experts and service providers, APAS released its final report about its Rural Connectivity Task Force (RCTF). The report includes 43 recommendations to improve high-speed internet and cellular service in rural Saskatchewan. To learn more about the RCTF, visit apas.ca/policy/ruralconnectivity
Request to create an Export Sales Reporting Program
In July, a coalition of Saskatchewan producer groups called for the creation of an Export Sales Reporting Program to improve market transparency for farmers. Farmers and ranchers are at the mercy of fixed market prices, and having more information about the markets would help to ensure producers get a fair price for the products they’re selling. Without timely data on export sales, farmers can’t accurately track the market and time their sales to improve profitability.
Joint letter to Grain Companies about grain contract fees