Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart recently announced details of the 2014 Crop Insurance Program, which includes a number of new features to help producers mitigate their risk.
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.
The deadline for customers to apply for, make changes to or cancel a Crop Insurance contract is March 31, 2014. Detailed program and contract information is also available at any local Crop Insurance office, at www.saskcropinsurance.com or by calling 1-888-935-0000.
Under Crop Insurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Government of Saskatchewan. Administrative expenses are fully-funded by governments, 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Saskatchewan.