Revisiting your farm’s risk management plan for COVID-19

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(NC) From markets to Mother Nature, Canada’s agricultural producers are experienced hands when it comes to navigating the common risks of the farming business. But while most producers have solid risk management practices they can count on in times of crisis, the pandemic has been an unprecedented shock, leaving many wondering if there’s more they could be doing to prepare for the unexpected.

“At RBC, our advisors have their ear to the ground on all matters that impact your agriculture operation. We’re always here to support producers as they plan for the realities that exist today, and for those that could exist in the future,” says Ryan Riese national director of agriculture at RBC.

For farmers looking to revisit and strengthen risk management plans in light of COVID-19, Riese recommends the following tips:

  1. Make risk management routine. In an evolving situation such as COVID-19, it’s especially important to monitor for new trends, conduct risk assessments and create contingency cashflow projections on a regular basis. Be sure you’ve adequately accounted for a broad range of risks across political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal areas, as the impact of the pandemic is multifaceted and complex.
  2. Prioritize risks. Categorize risks into current and emerging risks and dedicate your contingency planning efforts to those that are most likely to occur and to impact your business. Right now, this may mean planning to mitigate any renewed lockdowns, on-site outbreaks or macroeconomic changes that may ensue in the coming months.
  3. Work with a trusted advisor. Consider sharing your contingency plan with your accountant, legal counsel or financial advisor. Not only will they then be aware of your plans should you need to spring into action, but they may also be able to provide insights and keep you on top of new developments as they emerge.