APAS is putting together a new task force as provincial and federal governments are negotiating a New Policy Framework, hoping to make agricultural recommendations.

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan put together the task force as negotiations on the direction that the framework is to take continues over fall.

That task force will be meeting with producers, agricultural stakeholders, and government officials to develop priorities for the NFP.

President of APAS Todd Lewis explains what all's going on with this new framework.

"Every five years there's a policy framework put in place that really is a five-year plan for business risk management going forward, and the current one is set to expire in 2023," said Lewis, "So negotiations are beginning between the federal and provincial government as to what the policy framework looks like."

"So we want to get some farmer input to both levels of government, ask farmers what they would like to see, as well as having a look at current programs and see if we could have some improvements in them as well."

One of the biggest asks from APAS's task force will be an increase in the budget provided to a variety of programs that are funded by both the federal and provincial governments.

The most important of these programs, says Lewis, are those that help manage some of the risks that farming poses.

"Our risk in agriculture always seems to be increasing with higher prices, higher inputs, land values go higher, so there are more and more dollars involved every year and then we see unexpected things like trade disruptions, covid, or climate change," said Lewis, "I think agriculture in order for it to be sustainable and thrive in Canada over the next number of years we need a good set of risk management programs."

One of these programs is Agristability, which had increased funding this year due to the drought.

"I think producers need to see more funding into the program," said Lewis, "It's been a long time, over ten years now, where we've had the same amount of funding, and really when you look at government programming there are very few that have kept up with the rate of inflation. I think that's one thing farmers are looking for."

The task force will include members representing a wide variety of ridings across Saskatchewan, and Lewis says he believes it'll be representative of the needs of producers across the province.