Crop insurance change made to salvage poor crops for feed in Saskatchewan

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The federal and Saskatchewan governments have announced a change to crop insurance offered by Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) to allow more acres of low-yielding crops to be redirected to help livestock producers.

Following on the heels of a similar announcement in Alberta last week, SCIC is again doubling the low yield appraisal threshold, allowing customers to bale, graze, or silage crops as feed without negatively impacting future individual coverage. For example, the 2023 threshold level for oats is 10 bushels per acre. The province says with a doubled low yield appraisal, the threshold increases to 20 bushels per acre for a producer intending to utilize the oats for feed.

“We are seeing dry pockets and grasshopper damage throughout the province, particularly in the southwest,” notes Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit. “We are committed to supporting our farmers and ranchers to lessen the impact of these challenging conditions, and I want to encourage crop producers to again work with neighbouring livestock producers to make feed available.”

The same measure was implemented in 2021, and resulted in over 345,000 acres of additional crop redirected to feed, says Marit.

The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) is welcoming the announcement.

“The persistent drought in the western region of the province has created an untenable situation for many producers. Unfortunately, grasshoppers have compounded the situation. As a result, SCA has been working with our provincial government to propose solutions to bring relief,” says Keith Day, SCA board chair. “Today’s announcement is a welcome response to our request.”

The province has also announced producers who graze Crown lands could be in line for a reduction in rental fees by 20 to 50 per cent if they must reduce stocking rates by 20 per cent or more than their rated carrying capacity.

Producers enrolled in AgriStability for 2023 can also apply for an interim benefit option where they can access of 50 per cent of their estimated final benefit.

“While we don’t wish this type of situation on our fellow crop producers, we see this as a situation where we can help each other during these difficult times and we greatly appreciate it,” says Day. “We are grateful to have an Ag Minister and government that work closely with industry and responds when the need is there.”

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