How to Boost Your farm Business in Tough Times

(NC) Money problems can strike anyone at any time - especially in today's economy. Fortunately, if you're a farmer, there's a way to help protect yourself against future disasters and the highs and lows of farming.

A program called AgriStability works as a kind of insurance for farmers, where they pay a relatively small fee to enroll and can trigger a payment in a lower income year where they have a decline in farming revenue.

“Participating in AgriStability can make a big difference in a bad year and doesn't cost a lot for the potential return. Whether farmers are experiencing low incomes because of poor yields or commodity prices, or rising input costs, the program can cover up to half the loss,” explains Jon Friesen, a director with the federal AgriStability administration.

Farmers can enroll in the program in any given year, but it helps to be an ongoing participant so that payments can be made quickly based on information already on file. Participating also doesn't have to mean a big accounting bill. The AgriStability form is short – just one page in addition to the farm tax package – and it asks for numbers that most farmers already track.

AgriStability is one of four Business Risk Management programs offered to farmers by federal and provincial governments. It pays to make smart use of all available programs and tools to keep your farm business viable and profitable.

The program is delivered by the federal government in Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon. If you're in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec or Prince Edward Island, AgriStability is delivered provincially.

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