High commodity prices and increased yield coverage have pushed Saskatchewan crop insurance coverage to record levels for 2021.
The program for the upcoming growing season was announced Feb. 23 in Regina.
It includes coverage of $273 per acre, up from $224 last year.
Premiums are also going up to an average of $8.59 per acre from $7.40 in 2020.
The federal and provincial governments said that even though there is a 42-percent reduction in the average premium cost per dollar of coverage over the last 10 years, the increased coverage pushes premiums higher.
Establishment benefits are increasing for several crops. Canola will go up to $70 per acre, large green lentils to $50 per acre and red lentils to $30 per acre. The benefit for large kabuli chickpeas rises to $65 per acre, while for small kabuli chickpeas it is now $45 per acre. Corn is $95 per acre.
New this year are several options for hay and forage growers. Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association chair Arnold Balicki said cattle producers should take a look at the programs because several improvements in recent years help to manage their risk.
Crop insurance customers who grow tame hay can insure the crop under the Forage Rainfall Insurance Program or multi-peril crop insurance. Coverage can be customized for each operation, and under FRIP payments will be based on rainfall levels instead of overall yield.
There is also an increase to the native forage establishment benefit, which offers coverage on newly seeded native forage. Coverage is rising from $75 to $200 per acre.
The tame hay establishment benefit is increasing to $90 per acre, and sweet clover is going up to $65 per acre.
A pilot program for commercial vegetable production will provide stand-alone coverage for cabbage and pumpkin crops. Producers must have at least eight acres to participate. Sask. Crop Insurance says the impact of crop failure on commercial operations is significant as even such small acres have extremely high value. The pilot program will help inform further coverage options for vegetable growers.
Other crop insurance changes for this year include an update to the base grade for large-seeded kabuli chickpeas to reflect current production and marketing patterns. This increases the insured price and quality coverage.
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers board chair Shaun Dyrland said this better reflects the sizes grown by producers.
“This change should increase coverage levels for most of the 300 chickpea producers in the province,” he said in a news release.
The deadline to enroll or make changes to insurance coverage is March 31.
Deputy premier and finance minister Donna Harpauer said crop insurance has provided producers with coverage for more than 60 years and this year’s program will help meet current needs.