Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced details of the 2014 Crop Insurance Program, which includes a number of new features to help producers mitigate their risk.
“Agriculture plays an important role in Saskatchewan and across Canada in creating jobs and economic growth,” Ritz said. “Insurance-based programs that are bankable and predictable help to ensure that Saskatchewan farmers have the tools they need to maintain their success today and well into the future.”
“Agriculture continues to be a key driver of the Saskatchewan economy and we are working to improve our programs to help producers succeed and grow the industry,” Stewart said. “The 2014 Crop Insurance Program includes improvements to assist Saskatchewan’s farmers and ranchers as they look toward a new growing season.”
Improvements to the Crop Insurance Program for 2014 include a pilot program to provide yield-loss coverage for corn in the east central and southeast areas of the province. In addition, the establishment benefit feature has also been expanded to include coverage for corn of $65 per acre.
New in 2014, durum and barley will be eligible for yield trending. Yield trending recognizes agronomic advancements and increases a producer’s historical yields, which improves coverage. Yields for durum will increase 8.6 per cent and barley yields will increase 3.5 per cent, on average. Yield trending will also continue on canola, fall rye, winter wheat, hard red spring wheat, hard white spring wheat and oats. This feature has resulted in the average coverage for canola increasing by nearly 20 per cent, oats by 15 per cent and hard red spring wheat by 10 per cent.
Also new in 2014, Crop Insurance will include a bee mortality insurance pilot program. The program will cover loss of bees over the winter as a result of naturally occurring causes that are beyond the control of producers.
Additional 2014 Crop Insurance Program enhancements include increasing the base grade for flax, adding field peas to the contract price option and expanding the number of crops eligible for vegetable insurance. Crop Insurance enhancements made in previous years, such as expanded coverage for soybeans, Unseeded Acreage Benefit and yield cushioning, will also continue in 2014.
Crop Insurance is also making it easier for producers to conduct business online by launching a new online system called CropConnect. CropConnect provides Crop Insurance customers the flexibility of completing their business online, from a home computer or mobile device. This includes adding land to a contract, filling out forms, calculating their premium and coverage levels, reporting production data and filing claims.
Crop Insurance coverage for 2014 is $162 per acre, on average, the fourth highest coverage in program history. Crop Insurance premiums for 2014 average $7.47 per acre, a 25 per cent reduction from 2013. The lower coverage and premium is largely the result of lower forecasted crop prices in 2014-15.