News in brief

Agristability

Farmers not happy

A survey of 268 Saskatchewan farmers has found dissatisfaction with AgriStability.

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan polled members to confirm what it had been hearing, said president Norm Hall.

“The survey was to get factual information, instead of just anecdotal,” he said.

There have been many complaints about the program since changes were made in 2013.

The responses show that while AgriInvest is rated highly, and AgriInsurance is rated moderately, AgriStability scores consistently lower. That program scored lowest for adequacy and design. Just 18 percent of the respondents said the program does or would benefit their operations.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said they had withdrawn from the program and 55 percent said they couldn’t predict coverage levels at the start of each year.

AgriInvest fared best in the survey; 73 percent strongly agreed they would recommend the program to others. Crop insurance is perceived to provide predictable and timely support but only 30 percent said coverage was adequate.

For Growing Forward 3, they said the highest priority should be innovation and science, followed by trade and market development.

Complete survey results can be found at www.apas.ca.

Earth day

Conservation funding

The Alberta government recognized Earth Day April 22 by announcing $15 million to be available annually, over the next five years, for public and private land conservation projects.

The funds were allocated in the recent budget and will support the Land Trust Grant Program and the Land Purchase Program, according to an Alberta Environment news release. The two programs are used to promote voluntary conservation of private land and to buy land the province considers to be of high conservation value.

Earlier this year, six land trusts were granted $5.89 million for 22 different projects. They will help conserve more than 13,300 acres of land, said the release.

Land trusts use the money to buy easements or undertake stewardship projects.

The Southern Alberta Land Trust Society (SALTS) was the recipient of four grants totaling $744,000. Other grant recipient organizations and the amounts received:

  • Alberta Conservation Association: $348,225
  • Alberta Fish & Game Association: $22,975
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada : $200,098
  • Nature Conservancy of Canada: $3.8 million
  • Western Sky Land Trust : $765,100

To qualify for grants, organizations must “align with the overall conservation goals of Alberta Environment and Parks.” Those include retaining native landscapes, fostering biodiversity and providing at least two-thirds of final funding for their projects.

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