Average crop insurance coverage is decreasing slightly in 2018, but there are significant enhancements coming to help protect Saskatchewan producers.
Crop insurance levels in 2018 will average $216/acre, down from $217/acre in 2017. Although coverage is decreasing slightly, premiums are also dropping to an average of $8.41/acre, down from $8.51/acre last year.
Aside from the slight changes in insurance levels and premiums, Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said there are significant chances coming to the 2018 Crop Insurance Program designed to protect producers from fires, flooding, cattle predation and more. Farmers will have increased options to customize their coverage, he said, as no two farms are identical and each have specific insurance needs.
Stewart said fire insurance will be offered on pasture land in 2018, after wildfires burned through more than 88,000 acres of Saskatchewan land last year. Better protections are also coming for cattle producers, who will see increased coverage for calves lost to predators, bringing Saskatchewan into line with other western provinces. Beekeepers will also see new coverage introduced, Stewart said, as over-winter losses will now by covered and deductibles will be based on a long-term industry average.
Contract price options will be available on additional crops in 2018, Stewart said, including malt barley, meaning producers of 30 separate crops will be able to base their crop insurance on the contracted prices in 2018.
Producers have until March 31 to apply for, renew, or change their crop insurance contracts. Stewart urged producers to move quickly, as 2018 may be another dry season.
“There’s concern across the province about soil moisture levels and the need for substantial precipitation,” he said. “Soil moisture reserves were used up last year to sustain many crops.”
If the weather does not cooperate with producers, Stewart said, there will be no ad-hoc programming created.
Full details of the 2018 Crop Insurance Program can be accessed online.
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