Sask. crop insurance premiums to drop

Participants in Saskatchewan’s crop insurance program will pay lower premiums for less coverage in 2020.

Average crop insurance coverage this year is $224 per acre, down from $230.

Premiums on average will drop to $7.40 from $8.61.

Agriculture Minister David Marit announced this year’s program this morning.

Changes to the program include expanding the insurable region for soybeans to the entire province. Coverage will be based on a soybean grower’s individual insured history, not the regional average, and experience discounts or surcharges will be applied to soybean premiums.

Soybeans grown under irrigation are also now eligible for coverage.

Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association chair Aaron Gray said that is encouraging, considering how much soybean acreage has expanded.

“Saskatchewan irrigators can now make their decision on crop rotation based on their operations and not be penalized,” he said in a news release. “Soybeans fit very nicely in an irrigator’s rotation.”

To entice previous customers to return to the program, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. will now allow producers up to seven years to rejoin and continue with their previous premium discount or surcharge and yields.

The Vegetable Acreage Loss Insurance Program has been enhanced to better reflect production costs in insured values. Asparagus has been added as an eligible crop, and the fall cut-off date for harvest has been extended.

Organic crop growers will see updated premiums and coverage using data provided by organic customers. The Organic Option previously relied on a combination of conventional and organic crop experience. SCIC said organic insured prices are now higher and premium rates are lower, although average coverage is also lower.

The impact of this change will depend on individual production experience.

Meanwhile, SCIC estimates that claims for 2019 will reach $350 million due to a dry spring and summer, followed by a wet fall and delayed harvest. Crops left out over winter are eligible under the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program whether producers participate in crop insurance or not.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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