Ontario breeders were undoubtedly the frontline victims in the tsunami unleashed by the Ontario Liberal government’s announcement last spring that it was ending the Slots at Racetracks program.
Farm operations first felt the brunt of the impact with a low traffic breeding season and then from slashed yearling sale prices.
In response to a suggestion from the OMAFRA Horse Racing Transition Panel, Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) recently engaged a consultant to explore options for breeders to recoup at least some portion of their losses.
Cathy Parciak of Quality Professional Accounting Corp., in Woodstock, ON met with SBOA to provide some guidance about available government programs.
She advised all Ontario breeders to enrol in the AgriStability Program and to speak with their accountant about how they can best benefit from the resources available.
Administrated through Agricorp in Guelph, ON, AgriStability is a program that protects producers of agricultural commodities from large declines in their farming income due to market conditions, production loss or increased costs of production.
The program pays out based on a farm’s historical accrual margins. The first 30% of loss experienced is not subject to compensation and the range of eligible expenses is limited.
While it is unlikely the AgriStability program will fully cover the losses experience by breeders, said SBOA President Anna Meyers, it may provide some benefit.
The deadline to apply is April 30th of each year, but breeders are advised to apply for both 2012 and 2013. You can write to Agricorp now explaining the situation and ask for special consideration concerning the missed deadline.
“The SBOA will continue to explore options on behalf of breeders to help recoup some of the losses experienced in 2012,” said Meyers.
Further information about the AgriStability program is available on the Agricorp Website or by calling 1-888-247-4999.