Alberta crop insurance changes include winterkill for alfalfa

Alberta has introduced several major changes to crop insurance coverage and made changes to premium rates.

The annual insurance program has been changed to include winterkill as a designated peril for pedigreed alfalfa seed production. Coverage will be available for the year in which winterkill occurs. Winterkill has caused alfalfa seed producers serious economic loss.

Bee overwintering Insurance was introduced in 2009 when the industry suffered two years of abnormal overwintering losses. Producers will now have individual coverage and will receive a premium discount or surcharge based on their loss experience.

For the first time, certified organic producers will no longer be assessed for uninsured causes of loss, provided the producer follows organic standards. Organic insurance prices will be higher than commercial insurance prices depending on the crop.

For the first time in Canada, farmers can carry malt barley insurance coverage. It comes at a premium price compared to commercial barley, but will provide more coverage for growers with malt contracts.

The ratio of edible peas to field peas has grown steadily over the years and the insurance price will reflect the changes in edible peas grown. Changes will shift from a 70:30 edible-to-feed price ratio to a 100 percent edible pea end-use price. The change will include an increase in the guaranteed quality from a 3 Canada to a 2 Canada level.

Yellow dry beans are currently insured under the “black/other” dry bean category. A distinct, separate insurance category will be created for yellow dry beans.

AFSC clients will pay about six percent less in multi-peril annual crop insurance premium rates compared to 2015.

Clients will also see a 14 percent increase in dollar coverage per acre in 2016. The increase is due to a combination of increasing spring insurance prices and yields.

mary.macarthur@producer.com

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