Manitoba farmers will continue to benefit from expanded, comprehensive coverage through AgriInsurance in the upcoming year, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced.
“The Government of Canada is committed to providing responsive programs that support our farmers in Manitoba,” said MacAulay. “The improved coverage and protection under these programs will ensure our farmers have the tools they need to grow their businesses and stay competitive.”
The ministers noted total AgriInsurance coverage for 2018 is expected to be $2.7 billion on 9.4 million acres in Manitoba, with premium rates down by an average of seven per cent, as compared to last year.
“AgriInsurance continues to be an essential risk management tool that acts as the first line of defence for Manitoba farmers,” said Eichler. “The improvements planned for 2018 reflect the changes in our industry, ensuring coverage remains comprehensive and responsive to the needs of producers.”
Program changes for the 2018 growing season include:
- creating a permanent insurance area to protect more than 200,000 acres of soybeans grown in areas previously eligible for coverage only on a test basis;
- changing the soybean premium rate calculation to put more emphasis on actual losses, which will benefit producers and governments by lowering premiums;
- removing the pre-harvest claim deductible for corn and soybeans, which will provide equitable coverage for all major crops;
- introducing a novel crops insurance program for new and non-traditional crops (quinoa for example), which is expected to include 10,000 acres and represent about $1.8 million in coverage;
- offering separate coverage for Canada Northern Hard Red Wheat, to represent higher expected values and yields than other varieties in the former feed wheat category; and
- continuing coverage for feed wheat and other wheat varieties under one category called ‘other spring wheat’.
More than 8,400 farms are enrolled in AgriInsurance. Manitoba has the highest level of AgriInsurance participation in Canada, covering more than 70 different crops and over 90 per cent of annual crop acres. AgriInsurance is also available to protect forage yields, as well as stand establishment, and to assist farmers who cannot seed in the spring due to wet conditions. The total governments’ share of AgriInsurance premiums for 2018-19 is expected to be $130.9 million.
Under AgriInsurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Manitoba government. Administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba.
In July 2017, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture reached agreement in principle on the key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment that will set a solid foundation for the future of Canada’s farmers and food processors, and continue to help them grow, innovate and prosper. It is set to launch on April 1.