A Keystone Agriculture Producers committee provided feedback on the young farmer crop plan credit
The Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation (MASC) should improve its young farmer crop plan credit (CPC), the Keystone Agriculture Producers (KAP) young farmer policy committee said.
The CPC, which MASC offers to farmers between 18 and 39 years of age, helps producers with AgriInsurance costs. Farmers can also receive advice on their crop production plans. Producers must apply for the CPC by March 31 and complete a crop plan by May 31 to be eligible for the credit.
If producers follow the steps outlined for the credit, they can receive a one-time premium subsidy up to $300 that’s applied against premiums owed to AgriInsurance.
Currently, farmers can only participate in CPC for their first AgriInsurance contract.
In 2019, 36 producers participated in the CPC, the committee said in its letter to MASC. That number, however, accounts for just 50 per cent of eligible farmers.
A lot of producers who could participate don’t know about the CPC, said Jake Ayre. He’s the vice-president of KAP and a co-chair of KAP’s young farmer committee.
MASC could improve the CPC in five areas, the committee said. The top opportunity is improving awareness of the CPC, said Ayre.
MASC should also extend CPC eligibility to the first five years in which a producer holds an AgriInsurance contract, the committee recommended. Many committee members “were ineligible for the program because they had contracts for more than one year,” explained Ayre.
MASC should increase the financial incentive to bring more producers in, market the CPC as a supplemental university program and move the CPC online to help modernize it, the committee said.
The committee members submitted their letter on May 25, but don’t expect to receive a response anytime soon, said Ayre. They do, however, hope to see their suggested changes enacted to make the credit more widely used.
“We hope it's something that can be accessible to our Manitoba young farmers,” said Ayre.
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