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Province Releases Details Of Forage Insurance Reveiw

After extensive engagement with the public, the Manitoba government has released details of a review on forage insurance programs offered by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).
 
“Regardless of the type of crop, producers are faced with tough decisions on what products make the most sense to help manage risk,” said Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen. “It is important to get feedback so that we have a clear picture of what products they need to support their success in the agricultural industry. We’re pleased with the input we received from the many invested stakeholders and look forward to making improvements to the program where possible.”
 
The review was initiated to get a better understanding of the purchasing decisions of Manitoba producers in terms of forage insurance products available to them.
 
"We are pleased that the Province of Manitoba and MASC undertook this review and the provision of recommendations based on the report," said Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) Chair Larry Wegner. "MFGA looks forward to working with MASC and other agricultural groups working toward the report's recommendations for the benefit of Manitoba producers."
 
Several key recommendations were made and immediate action items will be undertaken by MASC prior to the next insurance year.
 
Some of which include:
 
- exploring new methodologies to assign coverages to new insureds,
- determining if the effect that disaster years have on future coverage can be minimized,
- establishing insured values that better reflect the price of hay in claim years,
- identifying areas where the administrative burden for insureds can be minimized,
- reviewing the index-based insurance approach used in other jurisdictions which relies on weather or satellite-based technology, and
- working more closely with industry to inform producers and increase awareness of the MASC Forage Insurance programs.
 
The review was conducted using a number of different methods, including the EngageMB portal, focus groups and interviews with producers, MASC insurance agents, agricultural specialists, industry associations, financial advisors, as well as other insurance providers.
 
More than 1,200 producers currently have forage insurance through MASC, insuring more than 272,000 acres. This represents about 18 per cent of the more than 1.5 million eligible acres of forage in Manitoba.
 
The Forage Insurance program is part of AgriInsurance, a joint program of the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
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