Saskatchewan producers will see several enhancements to the 2020 program while continuing to receive a decrease in premiums and access to high coverage
The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announced the 2020 Crop Insurance Program Feb. 25. This year’s program expands coverage to include changes to the soybean, organic and vegetable insurance programs, as well as new rules for re-entering the program.
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) works closely with industry partners when making changes to the program each year, said Shawn Jaques, president and CEO of the organization.
“We want to make sure that our program remains relevant to the changing agricultural landscape,” he said. “For example, soybeans are being grown more commonly across the province, so it made sense to expand that coverage to the entire province.”
Coverage for soybeans will also be available on irrigated land and producers can now use their insured history rather than the regional average.
As for coverage and premiums, those elements remain in producers’ favour.
“We have the second-highest coverage on record at an average of $224 an acre and producers will see a premium decrease. On average premiums, will be $7.40 per acre, down from $8.61 in 2019,” Jaques told Farms.com.
The 2020 program will now include organic premiums and coverage based on data from organic customers in Saskatchewan.
“Previously, organic insurance was based as a proxy on our regular crop insurance program, or the commercial acres. Now that we have enough data available from organic producers, we're able to offer organic insurance that's tailored to the risks on organic farms,” said Jaques.
SCIC worked with the Saskatchewan Vegetable Grower’s Association to enhance the Vegetable Acreage Loss Insurance Program by adding asparagus as an eligible crop, extending fall cut-off dates and updating the insured value of vegetable crops to better reflect production costs.
SCIC has also made the process easier for producers looking to re-enter the program.
“You now have up to seven years to re-enter the program and you get to retain your yield coverage and any experience discount or surcharge you had when you left the program,” Jaques explained.
Producers with 2019 crops still in the field should remember the Wildlife Damage and Compensation Program, Jaques added.
“If producers notice damage in the spring prior to harvesting, give us a call. We'll send an adjuster to complete the inspection. And that compensation program is available to all producers whether or not they belong to crop insurance,” he said.
In the coming days, producers should to watch their mailboxes as SCIC is sending out personalized information, Jaques said.
“No two farmers are alike. So, I would encourage producers to look at the options that are available and how they could work for their farms,” Jaques said. If producers have questions, they can contact SCIC by phone, online or stopping into a local office.
The deadline to apply or make changes to the program is March 31.
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