Alberta farmers have until Feb. 28 to insure their pastures and hay this year.
Almost 7.5 million acres of pasture and hay were insured last year in the province, according to Agriculture Financial Services Corp. records.
That led to payouts of more than $3.7 million, mostly because of the lack of moisture that limited productivity.
Hail, fire, frost, flooding, heat stress, wind and winterkill accounted for other claims.
Dave Maddox, manager of insurance operations for AFSC, said in a news release that claims have been lower than average in the last several years compared to 2009 and 2002, when drought was widespread.
In those years, $56 million and $89 million were paid out, respectively.
Alberta Agriculture forage specialist Grant Lastiwka said producers are grazing cattle earlier in the spring and longer into fall and winter to cut feed costs.
Lengthier reliance on grazing could make insurance more attractive for some ranchers.
Soil moisture conditions in the province are now in the normal range for this time of year in most regions, according to Alberta Agriculture data.
Exceptions include an area of high moisture near Lesser Slave Lake and moderately low to very low moisture in a large region south of Calgary.