A key highlight for the Agriculture sector in 2022 was the agreement around the new five year Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (S-CAP).

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says she was pleased that she was able to reach an agreement with her Provincial and Territorial counterparts. 

"We have increased the budget by $500 million. So it will bring the next partnership to $3.5 billion for the industry. There will be a program that we call the 'Resilient Agricultural Landscape Program' that will reward farmers for the utilization of ecological services that they are providing. We were also able to improve the AgriStability program by increasing the compensation rate from 70 to 80 per cent."

The new S-CAP program begins April 1, 2023 and will run to 2028.

Bibeau says another key move in 2022 was the government's announcement around the new Indo-Pacific Strategy which is something producers were eager to hear about.

"We will have our Agriculture and Agri-Food department office in the Indo-Pacific region which will help us open up new markets, diversify and strengthen our relations with these countries."

She notes when it comes to challenges farmers are the first ones to feel the impact of the climate crisis, from drought to flooding and even hurricanes like Fiona.

Bibeau says it's important for the government to be there to support farmers through those events, but it's also important to help farmers become more resilient by adopting new practices.

Animal disease is another key priority for the ag sector.

This year the poultry industry was hit hard by Avian Influenza as millions of birds perished or were depopulated from private or commercial flocks across the country.

The disease spread quickly with migratory birds and while there is no vaccination program available to combat Avian Influenza producers took extra bio-security precautions. 

Bibeau says when you talk about animal disease another key concern for Canada is African Swine Fever - a disease that has had a significant impact in other countries.

"We are doing everything we can to prevent African Swine Fever from entering into the country. We're working closely with the industry and with the provinces so if it ever comes to Canada we will be ready to face it."

A key issue for the beef sector is Foot and Mouth disease, again an issue that has developed in other countries. 

The beef industry says it has been pushing Ottawa on the need to develop a vaccine bank.

Bibeau says it's something she continues to work on adding that for now we are members of the North American Vaccine Bank, but adds that it wouldn't be enough if it ever hits the country.

She notes there's a lot of issues that we are facing from animal health to plant health and extreme weather events. 

To hear Glenda-Lee's yearend interview with Minister Bibeau where they discuss Ottawa's fertilizer emission reduction target and more be sure to click on the link below.