New Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program Launched
Crop insurance will continue to provide Manitoba farmers with effective risk protection against weather-related production challenges, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers announced here today at Manitoba Ag Days.
“The unusually hot temperatures we experienced this past fall were good for crops throughout the province, mitigating some of the negative effects of a very cool summer,” said Struthers.
“The surprise weather was also good for the AgriInsurance program allowing it to break even.”
AgriInsurance is updated annually by incorporating loss experience and taking into account market-price projections for the upcoming crop year.
Overall, AgriInsurance dollar coverages available through the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) are increasing by one per cent and premium rates are decreasing by four per cent compared to 2009. Manitoba has the highest level of AgriInsurance participation in the country with over 85 per cent of annual crop acres enrolled.
As is the case in other provinces, Manitoba’s forage insurance participation is much lower, said Struthers. Adjustments to tame hay insurance for 2010 will see an average increase in dollar coverages of six per cent while, at the same time, average premium rates are declining by five per cent.
Struthers also announced the launch of the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program developed by MASC in conjunction with the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association, Manitoba Forage Council and Keystone Agricultural Producers. The pilot program will investigate a new approach, in which livestock producers will be protected against having to remove animals from pasture prior to the guaranteed number of days, on account of reduced grazing capacity due to drought or excess moisture conditions.
MASC will also take a new approach with the Young Farmer Crop Plan Credit. Young farmers who are first-time participants in AgriInsurance will now be provided with a one-time credit of $300, provided they prepare a cropping plan, as per MAFRI standards.
For the past 10 years, Manitoba producers have received basic Excess Moisture Insurance (EMI) coverage of $50 per acre at no premium cost. Within that 10-year period, almost $112 million in basic EMI payments have been made. Starting in 2010, basic EMI will continue to apply to all Manitoba AgriInsurance contracts, with producers paying 30 cents per acre, which is 40 per cent of the related total premium cost. This is the standard cost-sharing formula under the federal-provincial Growing Forward Agreement and is consistent with how this type of program benefit is funded in other provinces, Struthers said.
Under AgriInsurance, premiums are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Province of Manitoba. Administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba.