After several different agricultural assistance programs in the 1980’s, Canadian farmers and governments decided to reexamine how the sector is assisted. It was farmers who put forward the idea of using government assistance to encourage farmers to save during good times in order to have funds available in their account to help them out in bad years. From this idea the Net Income Stabilization Account or NISA program was developed. The first accounts and deposits were established in 1992. As deposits and withdrawals are based on farm net income each farmer must submit farm income and expense data annually to the NISA administration. This data provides a great deal of information on NISA participants and how they are using their NISA accounts to stabilize their income. This paper looks at this data and what it tells us about NISA participants' deposits, withdrawals and income. The current *farm income* crisis provides the first real test of the NISA program and so this paper will end with a look at how NISA is performing in this crisis.


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