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Canada and Ontario Help Tree Fruit Growers Deal with Frost

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Canada and Ontario Help Tree Fruit Growers Deal with Frost

Current Programs Cover Financial Losses In 2012

The governments of Canada and Ontario are providing additional support for tree fruit growers whose crops were damaged last year.

An unseasonably warm spring in 2012 caused some fruit trees across Ontario to bloom early. A subsequent frost caused severe damage to blooms and emerging fruit buds.

Canada and Ontario are providing up to $2 million through non-business risk management (BRM) programming for tree fruit growers to develop mitigation strategies to address frost damage. This is in addition to an estimated $74 million that will be paid out through BRM programs, including Production Insurance, AgriStability and Ontario's Self-Directed Risk Management program.

"Extreme weather events like frost require producers to review and refine their farm's risk mitigation plans," said federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This federal-provincial assistance will help them develop strategies for future investments they can make to better manage weather events by reducing the risk to their operations."

"Managing the effects of frost more effectively is an important part of adapting to climate change and the extreme weather it brings," Minister McMeekin said. "This funding will help apple and tender fruit growers be better prepared, and maintain sustainable crops in the future."

Any Ontario producer with more than $7,000 in tender fruit or apple income in their 2011 tax year who will be producing these commodities in 2013 is eligible.  Provisions will be made for producers who began production in the 2012 or 2013 tax year.

Workbooks to help producers develop their own risk mitigation strategies for adverse weather will be available from Agricorp in late January, along with additional information and guidelines. Completed workbooks must be submitted by February 28.

An assessment of the 2012 frost event under the federal-provincial-territorial AgriRecovery Framework found that the comprehensive assistance available under business risk management programs will sufficiently address the resulting income and production losses. A summary of the AgriRecovery assessment regarding the frost is available here.

In September, federal, provincial, and territorial ministers of agriculture reached agreement on the five-year Growing Forward 2 policy framework. The new agreement will continue to drive innovation and long-term economic growth in Canada. In addition to business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.

The new suite of Growing Forward 2 programs is expected to provide increased flexibility for helping to implement mitigation strategies that best suit particular producer circumstances.

For more information on Growing Forward 2, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2 .

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