Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced enhancements to the 2020 Crop Insurance Program.
For 2020, Crop Insurance customers will pay an average premium of $7.40 per acre, down from $8.61 in 2019. The average coverage holds steady at $224 per acre, only slightly decreasing from $230 per acre in 2019. This is the second highest per acre coverage in the history of the program. The success of Saskatchewan’s crop production allows SCIC to keep premiums low and the average coverage strong for producers.
In consultation with SCIC industry partners, the changes to the Crop Insurance Program will help ensure it remains relevant to the evolving needs of Saskatchewan producers. For the 2020 Crop Insurance Program:
- The insurable region for soybeans is expanding to the entire province. Coverage is now based on personal yield history, instead of regional averages. Producer’s experience discount or surcharge is applied to their soybean premium. Irrigation coverage is also available to soybean producers.
- Customers now have up to seven years after their coverage has lapsed to rejoin the Crop Insurance Program and continue with their previous premium discount or surcharge and yields.
- The coverage and premiums for organic crops have been updated using information from organic producers. Previously, the organic coverage was based on a combination of conventional and organic crop experience. The insured prices for organic crops are also updated reflecting more current market information. With this change, organic insured prices are higher and premium rates are lower. Average coverage is also lower; realigning to current organic risk. The impact of this change will depend upon each producer’s production experience. Organic customers are encouraged to contact their local SCIC office to review their individual coverage.
- The Vegetable Acreage Loss Insurance Program is changing the insured value of vegetable crops to better reflect production costs. To allow for a longer growing season before harvest begins, SCIC is extending the fall cut-off dates. For 2020, asparagus has been added as an eligible crop.
As we head towards the 2020 growing season, we understand the challenges some producers face this spring with unharvested crop left out over winter. Prior to harvest, producers are encouraged to contact their SCIC office for a final crop assessment. If wildlife damage is detected, producers should contact SCIC as soon as possible. All Saskatchewan producers are eligible for coverage within the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program.
New for the AgriStability Program in the 2020 program year, private insurance revenues will be excluded from a producer’s program year calculation; increasing the producer’s potential to receive an AgriStability benefit. Since AgriStability accounts for financials of the whole farm, the Program can provide benefits even if producers receive a Crop Insurance payment. When combined, Crop Insurance and AgriStability offer extensive protection of the bottom line for Saskatchewan’s agribusinesses.
For livestock producers, the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program provides price protection against an unexpected market drops for cattle and hogs. Calf price insurance policies are available for purchase each year from the start of February to the end of May. Through the Program’s Payment on Account option, Saskatchewan producers have until the expiration of their policy to pay their premiums.
I encourage all Saskatchewan producers to seriously consider Crop Insurance and other SCIC programs for their 2020 year. We know each farm is different. That’s why our programs can be customized to meet the individual needs of each operation, with a variety of features that go above and beyond basic coverage. Our team of experts is available at 21 SCIC office across the province. With many of our staff members actively farming themselves, we understand the challenges producers face and we are ready to help.
March 31, 2020, is the deadline for producers to apply for, renew, reinstate, or make changes to Crop Insurance contracts. This is also the deadline to select insured crops and coverage levels.
More information about the 2020 Crop Insurance Program can be found at www.scic.ca/ci.