Crop insurance deadline looming

Growers are encouraged to contact their local SCIC office with questions abour crop insurance or extensions before the Nov. 15 deadline.  |  Getty Images

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) is reminding grain growers who are in a claim position to apply for an extension of crop insurance on acres that are unlikely to be harvested before Nov. 15.

“If a producer is unable to complete harvest by Nov. 15, they should request an extension of insurance,” said Shawn Jaques, president and chief executive of SCIC.

“In essence, what happens is their insurance coverage is carried through the winter to cover any losses that may occur ….”

Eligible payments would be determined the following spring, after the grower has either harvested the crops or put them to another use.

For growers who are going to be in a yield loss situation, November 15 is also the deadline to register a claim.

As of late last week, SCIC had received about 300 requests for extension of coverage, Jaques said.

The number of requests is expected to ramp up through the first two weeks of November.

“The reality is that there’s going to be crop left out over the winter,” Jaques said.

“We know that now because many parts of Saskatchewan got significant amounts of snowfall (in late October). I think what remains to be seen is just exactly how much … crop will be left out.”

Producers who request an extension of insurance may be eligible for an advance payment on unsettled files but final payouts will not be calculated until the following spring.

Unharvested acres alone may not trigger a claim, depending on whether or not the producer has already exceeded his overall production guarantee.

Jaques encouraged growers to contact their local SCIC office with any questions about crop insurance, unharvested acres and insurance extensions.

SCIC also manages the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, which may trigger additional payouts on crop that is left out over winter.

The Wildlife Damage Compensation program is not tied to the provincial crop insurance program, Jaques said.

It is a stand-alone program, separate of crop insurance, that provides compensation to all farmers, regardless of whether they carry crop insurance or not.

“Our experience has shown that when crops stay out over winter, it’s often prone to damage from wildlife and waterfowl damage in the spring so producers may be eligible for (compensation).”

Unharvested crops that are deemed unsalvageable and are not combined for grain the following spring can be grazed, baled, burned or tilled under at the producers discretion.

But if the grower is in a claim position or is anticipating a payout through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, SCIC must be notified and the field must be inspected before the unharvested crop is disturbed or removed.

“It’s the producer’s choice to do whatever they want with those acres … but prior to doing anything, they do need to notify SCIC so we can send out an adjuster and complete an inspection.”

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