Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Today, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced enhancements to the 2019 Crop Insurance Program. Once again, Saskatchewan producers can access the highest coverage in program history as the Crop Insurance program evolves and continues to adapt to the changing agricultural landscape in the province.
There are a number of enhancements for the Crop Insurance Program in 2019. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) continues to work with industry to ensure its programs are meeting the needs of producers and advancements in agriculture. All the changes and enhancements resulted in a Crop Insurance Program unique for each farm operation. SCIC understands no two farms are the same, which is why Crop Insurance offers coverage based on a producer’s own yields rather than the average of their area. A producer’s insurance package can be custom-fit through a huge selection of price options, coverage levels and other program features to meets their own risk management needs.
Crop Insurance is a Business Risk Management program supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Under Crop Insurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Government of Saskatchewan. Administrative expenses are fully funded by governments, 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Saskatchewan.
“Insurance-based programs help to ensure farmers have the tools they need to maintain and grow their business. Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, our government is working closely with provinces and territories to ensure we have business risk management programs that meet the needs of farmers.”
– Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister
“By investing in sound risk management programming, we are providing a foundation for our agriculture industry to grow. We want farmers to be innovative, make sound business decisions, and propel the industry forward as agriculture continues to be a major driver of our provincial economy.”
– David Marit, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister
“When the grass and hay doesn’t grow, when the weather doesn’t cooperate or when animals are lost to predators, farmers and ranchers need insurance programs to help them replace the feed and livestock they are expecting to have. These programs help producers address those uncontrollable risks and provides some management tools. Combine these programs with the price assurance of WLPIP and we are confident there is a full suite of insurance options available.”
– Levi Hull, District 5 Director, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association
“We appreciate the enhancements announced today to make forage insurance coverage more reflective of local precipitation conditions and forage production capacity. These enhancements are a positive step in enabling producers to better manage their forage production risks.”
– Henry McCarthy, Zone 1 Chair, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association
“SARM is pleased with the enhancements SCIC has announced to the suite of Crop Insurance Programs. We’ve been seeking many of the changes and have been active in the Forage Insurance working group. We believe the addition of over 50 weather stations will enhance the Forage Rainfall Insurance and the new Corn Rainfall programs and will equip farmers and ranchers in Saskatchewan to best inform their business decisions.”
– Harvey Malanowich, Division 4 Director, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
- On average, Crop Insurance coverage levels are increasing to a record $230 per acre, up from $216 per acre in 2018. The average coverage remains strong due to the success of Saskatchewan producers’ ongoing improvements in crop production with an increase in overall yields.
- Premiums have remained relatively steady, with the premium per acre only slightly increasing to an average of $8.61 per acre, up from $8.41 in 2018.
- Producers faced ongoing challenges throughout the 2018 growing season. Excess moisture delayed seeding, dry conditions and localized flooding challenged summer growing, and early frost and snowfall delayed harvest. Compensation for producers is estimated to reach $300 million in claims.
- Despite the challenging growing season, there continues to be a strong balance of funds allowing SCIC to keep premiums low for producers.
- Since 2015, SCIC has engaged with SCIC has engaged with producers and the agriculture industry. They identified insured values for grazing acres as a main priority, indicating coverage needs to more accurately represent the cost of replacing lost grazing production.
- For 2019, insured values on tame and native grazing are significantly increasing to better reflect the losses producers experience during a shortfall in forage production.
- Another enhancement for forage insurance includes the introduction of the Corn Rainfall Program (CRP).
- This program provides coverage against lack of moisture for corn acres. Claims are triggered when precipitation is below 80 per cent of the long-term average at any of the weather stations across the province.
- Corn acres grown for grain, grazing or silage are now eligible for protection through this new CRP and the Corn Heat Unit (CHU) Program.
- Also new for 2019, both programs will provide an establishment benefit of $90 per acre on corn crops that fail to adequately establish or suffer damage before June 20.
- This year, 55 new weather stations will be added throughout the province to increase SCIC’s weather data network and to ensure the weather information captured is more reflective of the farms it represents.
- Producers have more options to select a representative weather station for their pastureland, through the Forage Rainfall Insurance Program. A larger selection of weather station options for corn acres is available through the Corn Rainfall Program and/or the Corn Heat Unit insurance program.
- Almost all agricultural land in Saskatchewan will be within 30 kilometres of an eligible weather station.
- SCIC also works closely with the Winter Cereal Development Commission. Understanding the challenges fall weather conditions can have on seeding winter cereal crops, SCIC extended the fall seeding deadline to September 30. This provides producers an additional 15 days to be eligible for winterkill insurance when seeding fall rye and winter wheat.
- March 31, 2019, is the deadline for producers to apply or make changes to Crop Insurance contracts.
- SCIC has 21 offices across the province of Saskatchewan with knowledgeable staff who can help producers review the range of features and options available to customize coverage to the needs of their operation. Producers who prefer to do their business online are encouraged to use CropConnect to review coverage, options and make their insurance package selections.