Clearing up ag program changeover

By Gary Sliworsky,
Ag rep, Emo

Many producers have found the change from CAIS to AgriInvest and AgriStability, with the various payments and deadlines, a bit confusing.
Here are some highlights so you can have an informed discussion with your accountant as you work through your books during this tax season.
The Growing Forward Agreement was signed in July, 2008. The CAIS program ended with the 2006 program/tax year, being replaced by AgriInvest and AgriStability, which were in place for the 2007 program/tax year.
•AgriInvest
Under AgriInvest, the government will match producer contributions to a maximum each year. The basis for contribution is up to 1.5 percent of allowable net sales.
The federal government will administer the program, and hold the funds for the next two years.
If a withdrawal is made from the account, government funds are withdrawn first and taxed as investment income.
Producer deposits are not required for 2007, and no triggers are required for producers to access the funds (producers simply call 1-866-367-8506).
2008 deposit notices will be sent to producers shortly, if not received already.
•AgriStability
AgriStability, designed to comply with WTO and countervail rules, provides whole farm stabilization coverage and covers production margin (farm sales minus direct input costs).
Payments are triggered when the program year margin drops below 85 percent of a producer’s Olympic average.
Producers secure coverage by paying a fee at the start of the tax year, and submitting tax, production, and inventory information once the tax year is complete.
A reminder that participants can apply for a portion of their estimated payments before their business year ends, but you must have completed at least six months of the year.
This provision requires participants to estimate their income and expenses for the year.
Interim forms are available at www.agricorp.com
The 2008 AgriStability forms deadline is June 30. The 2008 T1163 (individuals) deadline is June 15.
The 2008 Statement A (corporations) deadline is June 30.
Dates to remember
•April 25—Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association’s spring sale, Stratton sales barn; and
•May 2–Ag-Impact Study, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Emo Inn (lunch provided).
This meeting to is generate a current profile of the agriculture sector in Rainy River District while identifying past and emerging trends.
The Rainy River study will be conducted concurrently with agri-economic impact studies being conducted in three other districts: Thunder Bay, Cochrane, and Kenora/Dryden.
The contacts are Rick Neilson (487-2387) and Linda Armstrong (852-3645).

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