Today Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced details of the 2016 Crop Insurance Program. Saskatchewan producers will have access to the highest coverage in program history as well as expanded options for growing fababeans, Khorasan wheat and forage.
“Crop Insurance provides affordable insurance protection for farmers looking to reduce the financial impact of crop losses,” MacAulay said. “The Government of Canada is committed to working with provincial governments to deliver effective Business Risk Management programs that will help farmers in managing risk due to severe market volatility and disaster situations.”
“The Crop Insurance Program continues to be a major part of Saskatchewan farmers’ risk protection and is one of the key reasons why agriculture continues to be a driver of the provincial economy,” Stewart said. “Since 2008, when this government completed a review of the Crop Insurance Program, continual improvements have been made to ensure it remains relevant and effective for producers.”
The Crop Insurance budget for 2016 is $166 million. On average, coverage levels are increasing to a record $216 per acre, up from $183 per acre in 2015. The improved coverage is a result of better forecasted crop prices and increased long-term yields. Due to an increase in coverage, the premium per acre is going up slightly to an average of $7.84 per acre from $7.06 in 2015.
More enhancements have been introduced for 2016. The insurable area for fababeans has expanded to include the entire province and insurable yields have increased reflecting, the increased production of this crop. Insurance for Khorasan wheat has improved as producers can receive individual coverage for their farm. Previously, coverage for this crop was based on area averages. An Establishment Benefit value of $30 per acre has been added for camelina, in response to the experience growers have gained with this new oilseed crop.
In response to industry feedback, the cap on the forage insurance variable and in-season price option has been removed. This will allow for an increase in the market price of forage to be reflected in the claim payments of producers who select those options. This year, producers will have higher forage coverage as insured prices have risen more than 30 per cent and forage establishment coverage has increased from $55 to $70 per acre. Forage insurance proved effective in 2015 as substantial payments were made to producers following a spring frost and dry conditions.
Establishment Benefit values are rising for a number of crops in 2016 including soybeans, lentils, barley and Khorasan. The Establishment Benefit feature provided significant support to producers last spring when newly-emerged canola was damaged by frost. More than 2,500 claims were quickly and effectively paid, providing more than $47 million to producers.
“One of Saskatchewan Pulse Growers’ goals is to have at least one pulse crop available for every acre of land in the province,” Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Vice-Chair Corey Loessin said “By expanding the insurable acres for fababeans, the Crop Insurance Program is helping to manage risk for farmers as we try to expand the acreage of fababeans in Saskatchewan.”
“Removing the cap on coverage for forage is a significant step,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Chairman Ryan Beierbach said. “Conditions last spring reminded us how important it is to have effective coverage, especially as forage costs continue to increase. We’re also facing the very real possibility of drought in the coming months. When weather turns against us, we see prices for hay multiply. This change to forage insurance will make the program more meaningful and responsive to cattle producers.”
Producers are encouraged to contact their local Crop Insurance office and review their coverage. The range of program features and choices is extensive and the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation wants to ensure producers have the best insurance for their farm.
Changes, renewals or new applications for a Crop Insurance contract need to be made by March 31, 2016. Producers who prefer to do their business online are encouraged to use CropConnect where reviewing coverage, options and making selections can be conducted from their computer or mobile device. Detailed program and contract information is available at any local Crop Insurance office, at http://www.saskcropinsurance.com or by calling 1-888-935-0000.
Crop Insurance is a Business Risk Management program supported through Growing Forward 2. 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.