Boosts in Saskatchewan’s crop insurance coverage to "record" levels in 2012 are expected to render any ad-hoc program for weather-related disasters unnecessary, its backers said Wednesday.
Citing "more options and improved coverage" for producers through the federal/provincial crop insurance program, the two levels of government said there will be no weather-related program in Saskatchewan for 2012 through AgriRecovery, the governments’ case-by-case farm disaster relief framework.
Melville-based Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. (SCIC) on Wednesday reported a "record-high" 2012 budget of $177 million, for a record average per-acre coverage level of $174.
"We have worked closely with the province of Saskatchewan to expand crop insurance coverage for unseedable acres," Yorkton-Melville MP Garry Breitkreuz said in the two governments’ release.
"With stronger and broader coverage, crop insurance is now better positioned to help producers manage the risk of excess moisture and flooding," he said.
Producers will have, for the first time, a "buy-up" option to supplement their unseeded acreage (USA) benefit of $70 per eligible acre by buying either $15 or $30 per acre in additional coverage, SCIC said.
The buy-up option would need to be selected in March, and its premium would be charged on all acres normally seeded that could be eligible for a USA claim, SCIC said.
For 2012, the USA benefit calculation will also no longer use "insurance intensity," in which SCIC calculated a whole-farm claim using a farmer’s total annual crop acres multiplied by the acres’ historic seeding intensity over the previous four years. Seeding intensity was calculated as a percentage of summerfallow to seeded acres in a given year.
Also, SCIC said, producers who normally use summerfallow in their crop rotations will "no longer be disadvantaged in the event of a USA claim."
SCIC on Wednesday also announced it will add "yield cushioning" — that is, limiting the drop in a farmer’s yield coverage in a given year, to cushion the impact of consecutive poor years — to its coverage for greenfeed, tame hay, sweetclover and dehy alfalfa crops.
Adding yield cushioning to those crops "will provide greater protection for producers who rely on forage in their farming operation," SCIC said.
Also new for 2012, SCIC will offer fruit tree insurance for saskatoon berry, dwarf sour cherry and haskap trees.
The coverage, however, will be for the loss of the tree only, not for reduced crop yield or quality, and will require a minimum of one acre of fruit trees.
Establishment benefit values will also increase in 2012 from $20 to $25 per acre for oats, canary seed, fall rye, spring rye and triticale, the governments said.
Saskatchewan farmers’ deadline to apply for, make changes to, or cancel their 2012 SCIC crop insurance contracts is March 31.