Saskatchewan crop insurance reduces 2020 premiums, adds soybean coverage

Saskatchewan’s Crop Insurance Program has announced a reduction in premiums to $7.40 per acre, down from $8.61 in 2019. According to a news release, on average Crop Insurance coverage holds steady at $224 per acre, a decrease from $230 per acre last year.

“We are dedicated to maintaining a strong, growing agricultural economy,” says David Marit, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister. “That is why we invest in business risk management programs to provide producers with protection against the unexpected.  In these times of market uncertainty and adverse weather conditions, support through a comprehensive suite of programs is important for Saskatchewan producers.”

Also new for this year, the insurable region for soybeans will cover the province as a whole. It will be based on a soybean producer’s individual insured history instead of the regional average and their experience discount or surcharge will be applied to premiums for soybean crops.

Additionally, irrigation coverage for soybeans will also be available which is something Saskatchewan Irrigation Projects Association (SIPA) is encouraged by. Chairman of the SIPA, Aaron Gray, explains they’ve had interest in expanding the industry in the province.

“Including soybeans in the Enhanced Irrigation Program will be of benefit to irrigators,” he says. “Saskatchewan irrigators can now make their decision on crop rotation based on their operations and not be penalized. Soybeans fit very nicely in an irrigator’s rotation.”

Other changes for this year include producers having up to seven years to rejoin the program with their previous premium discount/surcharge and yields intact. Deadline to select insured crops and coverage levels or make additional changes to their Crop Insurance contract is March 31, 2020. Should a producer need to apply, reinstate or cancel, they must do so also by the end of March.

According to a news release, ministers asked officials to change the treatment of private insurance for this year and from that, private insurance revenue will be excluded when calculating a producer’s program year margin. This increases the potential for an AgriStability benefit as private insurance revenue is not factored into the producer’s allowable income. Premiums for private insurance will remain included as allowable expenses.

As roughly 1.3 million insured acres were left out over winter, compensation for Saskatchewan producers is estimated to reach $350 million in claims. To see the full breakdown in changes, click here.

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