New study highlights economic impact and shortfall of Ontario’s farmer risk management programs

GUELPH – The Ontario Agriculture Sustainability Coalition (OASC) announced the release of a new study, “Evaluation of the Impact of the Risk Management Program/Self-Directed Risk Management Program on Ontario Farmers and the Economy,” on Oct. 31.

The OASC is comprised of the Beef Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Pork, Ontario Sheep Farmers, and the Veal Farmers of Ontario. The coalition was formed in 2009 to develop and implement the Risk Management Program in Ontario at the request of the Government of Ontario.

The study, completed by Harry Cummings and Associates and Agri-Metrics Consulting, examines the economic impact that Ontario’s Risk Management Program (RMP) and Self-Directed Risk Management Program (SDRM) have on Ontario farms, farm production and the broader Ontario economy.

The study highlights that:

– RMP/SDRM spending generates between $2.01 and $3.60 in economic output;

– RMP/SDRM helps support more than 47,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs;

– over 95 per cent of participating farmers agreed that not having access to the program would negatively impact farm operations;

– RMP/SDRM support allows farmers to mitigate input cost volatility, and enables many participating farmers to increase their investments in innovation, equipment and labour;

– program funding only covered 40 per cent of calculated insurance benefits for participating farmers from 2016 to 2020, due to the current funding cap;

– RMP/SDRM is viewed by participating farmers as a particularly important risk management tool for young and beginning farmers, and assists farmers in obtaining financial services from private lenders.

“The results of this study not only confirm the positive impact this important program has on farmers, farm production and economic activity for the province, it also provides strong data to support to OASC’s call on the Ontario government to increase its investment into this critical program,” grain farmer and OASC Chair Brendan Byrne stated in a press release.

“The study provides a clear signal to policymakers that provincial investment into the RMP/SDRM program is good for farmers, good for taxpayers and good for the Ontario economy,” beef farmer and OASC vice-chair Jack Chaffe stated in the release.

“The program funding limitations noted in the report represent one major shortcoming of an otherwise valued and impactful program for Ontario farmers and the broader Ontario economy,” Chaffe added.

The study can be viewed online by visiting: