The Growing Agriculture: 2020 Saskatchewan Provincial Election Forum this week covered a lot of ground.
The 90-minute virtual event was organized by APAS and the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association.
Candidates from three political parties recorded responses to a variety of questions from the party's vision for agriculture, to rural internet and cell phone connectivity, policies to support the next generation of farmers to water management, environmental stewardship and the modernization of the business risk management programs.
The Sask Party's David Marit says getting the farm programs right has been an ongoing issue but notes they did make some changes last year regarding private insurance for Agri-Stability.
"Whatever farmer decides to carry or rancher decides to carry as added insurance, doesn't hold it against them as their income in the Agri-Stability Program.
And there's things like that, that you can make some changes on that really make it work for the farmers and ranchers here in Saskatchewan. I will continue to be
open and dialogue with the farm groups here in the province of Saskatchewan on how we can come to resolve and make this program work for everybody."
Yens Pedersen says the Saskatchewan NDP will remove the reference margin limits on Agri-Stability to make sure that the program works for producers.
"We'll do that even if Ottawa won't. On Agri-Stability alone that works out to a $20 million investment and Saskatchewan farmers are worth it. We need to make sure that our Business Risk Management Programs, Crop Insurance, Agri-Stability, and all the other suites work for producers."
The Interim Leader for the Saskatchewan Liberals, Robert Rudachyk says we need to modernize Crop Insurance. We need to modernize Business Risk Management programs to keep incomes on the farm stable.
APAS President Todd Lewis said he really didn't hear any solutions on the subject from the candidates.
"Agri-Stability has not been well-used by farmers in the province, they're voting with their feet, they're not enrolled in it. I think we're under 30 per cent now of producers actually enrolling in the program, so that says volumes about the effectiveness of that program."Click here to see more...