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Crop insurance payouts down significantly

GUELPH — Yields and quality were overall above average for corn, soybeans and wheat in Ontario last year and crop insurance payouts were down significantly.

Agricorp insurance claims paid out on the big three field commodity crops totalled just over $44.6 million, or about 1.5 % of the total coverage taken out on those Ontario crops last year. Insurance payouts for 2022 were $113.6 million. The five-year payout average from 2016 to 2022 is $144 million.

Agricorp enrollees reported average corn yields of 202 bushels per acre in 2023, well above the 10-year average of 184. Ontario soybean yields averaged 53 bushels per acre, also surpassing the 10-year average of 48 bushels per acre.

However, excess rainfall in localized areas of Southwestern Ontario decreased yields, with claims of $21.3 million for soybeans and $16.3 million for corn.

Frost- and hail-related quality losses put apples in third place for highest claims at $15.5 million. Apples were followed by fresh market vegetable claims of $11.3 million and claims of $5.6 million) for tomatoes.

More than 14,000 Ontario farms buy insurance from Agricorp annually on $7 billion worth of production. There are about 48,000 farms in Ontario, according to Statistics Canada.

Overall in the province, farmers in Lambton County claimed the biggest soybean insurance pay-out of almost $7.6 million, while Middlesex farmers collected the top corn payout of $3.3 million.
Timiskaming region farmers claimed the province’s biggest winter wheat payout of $453,000.

In Southwestern Ontario, Niagara farmers had the highest winter wheat payout of $222,000.

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