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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change

Government Support in Agriculture for Losses due to Climatic Variability

A methodology using descriptive statistics to summarize data on government supports for extreme weather and climate variability in agriculture. Government sponsored programs such as Crop Insurance and Ad hoc Disaster Payment programs are considered in terms of their changing value over time.

Appropriate Use To describe and evaluate the sustainability of government support programs that are provided in response to climate variability and weather extremes.
Scope All locations; provincial and national level analyses.
Key Output Value of government programs providing payments to farmers directly related to climatic variability.
Key Input Farm income and government support data
Ease of Use Easy
Training Required No formal training required, although an understanding of government support programs, farming systems and descriptive statistics is an asset.
Computer Requirements Spreadsheet software package
Documentation See Smit, B., 1994, in References.

Used by the Environmental Adaptation Research Group of Environment Canada, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Canada’s National Implementation Strategy.

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Dr. Barry Smit

University of Guelph, Department of Geography, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Canada; Tel: 519.824.4120 ext. 3279; Fax: 519.837.2940; e-mail:

Cost Not identified

Smit, B. 1994. Climate, compensation and agriculture. In Improving Responses to Atmospheric Extremes: The Role of Insurance and Compensation. Workshop Proceedings. J. McCulloch and D. Etkin (eds.).The Climate Institute, Environment Canada, Toronto.
Smit, B. 1999. Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change in Canada. A Report to the Adaptation Liaison Office.