Manitoba farmers will see their crop insurance coverage increase by an average of seven percent while average premiums per acre will decrease by four percent in 2016.
Manitoba Ag Minister Ron Kostyshyn made his annual crop insurance program announcements at Manitoba Ag Days on Tuesday, the last day before the pre-election blackout on Manitoba government announcements.
Interestingly, the reduced premiums for 2016 are related to the drought of 1989, which triggered record high crop insurance payouts of $158 million (that record stood until flooding and frost in 2004.)
“They (Manitoba Ag Services Corporation) base their pricing on a 25 year average and because 1989 was a very high user of the insurance program, that’s dropped off,” said Kostyshyn.
Other changes to AgriInsurance programs in Manitoba for 2016 also include:
- Grade Guarantee for Feed Wheat
A grade guarantee for feed wheat has been added to protect against quality losses.
- Vegetable Acreage Loss Insurance Program Expanded
This program, which mitigates risks associated with vegetable production, has been expanded with the addition of four crops.
- Pasture Days Insurance Program Expanded
Previously limited to 90 producers, this program has been expanded provincewide for the next three years, compensating livestock producers for pasture shortfalls and/or supplemental feeding.
- Wildlife Damage Compensation
After April 1, the maximum compensation value will increase for animals injured or killed by livestock predators. Additionally, the compensation for young animals will be revised to reflect what would have been the value of the animal at weaning weight, rather than at the time of loss.
Kostyshyn also expressed hopes that more producers will participate in the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program, noting only 8 to 12 percent of eligible producers are participating.
“We know there’s always room for improvement,” he said. “We’re in our third year and we’re hoping to have high uptake.”
Participating producers cover 40 per cent of the cost for most AgriInsurance programs in Manitoba, with 36 percent of the funding coming from the federal government and 24 percent from the province. Administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba.