More producers buying into livestock price insurance

STRASBOURG, Sask. — More Saskatchewan cattle producers bought livestock price insurance this year, likely because of last year’s low prices.

After record strong prices in 2015, when price insurance might not have seemed a necessity, 2016 brought a hard reality check.

Jodie Griffin said that made price insurance look more attractive.

“The calf market this week last year was running in the high 70s, like $1.70ish,” said the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program co-ordinator for Saskatchewan. “That same weight break animal today is $2.27. It’s insane.”

And she said producers who were paying attention when they were buying calf policies noted they could insure for $2.32 even though it cost them $8 per hundredweight.

“It was expensive, but it was there,” she said. “And it’s paying out.”

Overall, participation rose to 2,947 producers this year, up 500 from the year before.

They insured 22 percent of the estimated marketable calf crop compared to just 12 percent in 2016 and 15 percent in the first two years of the pilot program. The program will continue in the next policy framework after Growing Forward 2 ends in March 2018.

Griffin told the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association District 6 meeting that 25 percent of the purchased policies have now expired.

The calf policies are paying an average of $40 per head in addition to the strong market price. Feeder policies paid out $50 per head.

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