Excess moisture insurance payments to Manitoba farmers who were unable to seed this spring are expected to total around $65 million.
"We have about 2,400 claims registered, which we're estimating will result in payments of about $65 million," explains Craig Thompson, vice-president of insurance operations for Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation. "To date, we've paid just over 1,600 of those claims and $34 million has already been paid to producers."
The 2,400 claims account for around 980 thousand acres that were too wet to seed.
"It's not our biggest year. 2011 was our biggest year in terms of excess moisture payments with just under 3 million acres," says Thompson.
He notes they're still working on determining how many seeded acres have since been lost to flooding and excess moisture.
"We don't have a good figure yet but we should know in a week or two how many acres were seeded and subsequently drowned out," he says. "Those usually turn into post-harvest claims. If a good percentage of their acres are drowned out, they end up below their coverage with a post-harvest claim."
With just over 97 percent of seeded acreage reports from farmers entered into their database, he says soybeans have again seen the largest acreage increase of any crop this year.
"In the last three or four years we've seen soybean acreage double. This year it looks like we'll have around 1.3 million acres of soybeans. Last year we had just around a million," says Thompson. "It probably would have been an even larger increase if we had had a normal spring and not a cool wet spring with delayed seeding."
The seeded acreage reports also confirm that producers planted more dry beans and sunflowers, while wheat, barley and corn acres declined.