AgriRecovery Assessment Summary

An unseasonably warm spring in 2012 caused fruit trees across Ontario to bloom early, leaving trees vulnerable to the ensuing frosts, which caused severe damage to blooms and emerging fruit buds. While damage was severe, it was limited to the 2012 fruit production year and no long-lasting damage to trees is expected.

Total revenue loss resulting from frost damage is expected to be approximately $114 million across Ontario's apple, peach, sweet cherry, sour cherry and plum sectors. Many producers also incurred additional costs in dealing with the effects of the frost.

Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, has a comprehensive suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs that are designed to help producers manage their risk.

The Ontario Apple Growers and the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers' Marketing Board were concerned that the existing suite of BRM programs would not provide adequate assistance in response to the 2012 frost. In response to these concerns, the provincial government requested an assessment under AgriRecovery, a joint disaster recovery framework, to measure how existing BRM programs responded.

The assessment demonstrated that, at current participation levels, existing BRM programs would provide $74 million in assistance. An additional $25 million would be provided with full industry participation.

The Task Team recommended that the Ontario government work with industry to:

  • identify key priorities for improving tree-fruit Production Insurance plans and increase producer participation; and
  • consider providing strategic initiative funding to help producers deal with future weather events. This could include support for on-farm investments in mitigation technologies such as wind machines, irrigation and hail netting.

Based on this analysis, the Task Team concluded that existing BRM programs have and will continue to provide the financial assistance required to manage the impacts of the 2012 frost event. As a result, additional assistance under the AgriRecovery Framework is not warranted.

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