by SUSAN MANN
Four information meetings are being held later this month and in early September so horticultural growers can get details on the new self-directed risk management program slated to start this year.
The meetings will all be from 7 to 9 p.m. and the dates are:
* Aug. 31 at the Red Pine Inn, Alliston;
* Sept. 6 at the Travel Lodge, Chatham;
* Sept. 7 at the Knights of Columbus, Delhi; and
* Sept. 8 at the Prudhommes Inn, Vineland.
Susan Murray, spokesperson for the provincial agriculture ministry, says farmers can preregister for the information meetings by calling 1-877-424-1300. Preregistration isn’t mandatory, she says, but they’d like to get an idea of how many people will be attending to ensure the locations for the meetings can accommodate everyone who wants to go.
Mark Wales, safety net section chair for the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, says in the first year of the program, the provincial government will deposit two per cent of a participating operation’s allowable net sales up to $2.5 million, and 0.5 per cent on amounts above that, into an account with Agricorp, the province’s risk management agency. Growers don’t need to make a matching contribution in the program’s first year. (Allowable net sales are the value of crops sold minus the value of crops purchased from operations with a minimum of $5,000 in sales.)
For subsequent years, coverage includes two per cent of allowable net sales up to $2.5 million, 1.5 per cent of allowable net sales on $2.5 million to $5 million and one per cent on amounts greater than $5 million. After the first year, farmers will need to make matching contributions and be required to have an AgriStability account.
Wales says representatives of the provincial agriculture ministry and Agricorp will be at a number of agricultural events this fall, such as Canada’s Fruit & Veg Tech X-Change in Norfolk on Sept. 1-3, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and the International Plowing Match and farmers can also get information at those events.
Horticultural growers should be getting information packages and application forms through the mail in the next two to four weeks, Wales says, adding he hopes there’s a high participation rate from farmers. BF