Sask. increases crop insurance funding

Cabinet has passed an order-in-council authorizing an additional $8.2 million in spending for the government’s share of Saskatchewan crop insurance premiums.

The money is part of a larger special warrant for additional spending to March 31, 2020.

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. chief executive officer Shawn Jaques said the extra money is required to cover higher program use and wildlife damage claims.

The 2019-20 budget projected premium costs of nearly $155 million.

“There was an increase in wildlife damage claims during 2019-20, which was partially offset by a decrease in crop insurance premiums due to a shift in crop mix towards crops with lower premium costs and decreased unseeded acreage coverage,” Jaques said in an email.

The higher wildlife damage claims are mainly because of last fall’s poor weather and the large amount of crop left in the field. More than two million acres were left unharvested, and compensation is available to all producers whether they participate in crop insurance or not.

Saskatchewan’s program covers up to 100 percent of damage from white-tailed deer, mule deer, antelope, elk, bears, moose, bison, wild boars, ducks, geese, beavers, blackbirds, gophers and sandhill cranes.

In 2018-19, the province paid more than $11 million in waterfowl damage claims and $8 million for big game damage, according to the annual report of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Stabilization Fund.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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