Business Risk Management Programs

Quick Facts

Issue Overview

Farmers need flexible programs to help manage risks beyond their control.

While agriculture is one of Canada’s main economic pillars, it is also a high-risk business. Farmers must regularly balance decisions based on volatile prices, unpredictable weather, and a global market influenced by geopolitical risk and government supports to competing producers in other countries. Many of these risks represent challenges beyond the farmer’s control.

To reach its full potential, the Canadian agriculture sector needs a stable economic foundation that can withstand the pressures of a shifting global and domestic market climate. To manage risks that can’t be addressed through on-farm practices, Canadian producers participate in business risk management (BRM) programs that support them in adapting to evolving markets, facilitating investment in response to future opportunities and acquiring technological innovations. Several government programs help them to meet these needs:

Recent Developments

In December 2020, the Federal Government proposed improvements to the AgriStability program, specifically to remove the Reference Margin Limit (RML) and to increase payments to cover 80% of the loss rather than the current 70%.

As the programs are cost-shared by the Federal and Provincial governments, 2/3 of provinces must sign on to this proposal to have it come into effect.

In March 2021, the Federal and Provincial governments agreed to remove the RML, but did not increase the compensation rate as outlined above. The Federal government continues to suggest this proposal is on the table, if a majority of provinces were to support it.

Working Towards Solutions


See our policy manual for information.