Sask. Crop Insurance allowing more acres of low yielding crops be redirected to feed

Saskatchewan livestock producers facing challenges from the dry conditions this season, have access to support from the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation.

Sask. Crop Insurance is allowing additional acres of low yielding cereal and pulse crops to be diverted to feed.

Acting Vice-President of Operations at Sask. Crop Insurance Lorelei Hulston says this applies to farmers who are enrolled in the Crop Insurance Program.

“At this time of year if there are acres that they want to put to an alternate use…they want to redirect them to feed or maybe they want to plow them down, they can notify us and we’ll go out and do an appraisal on the acres that they want to put to an alternate use, and that appraisal gets used towards their final claim on all the acres of that crop,” Hulston explained.

“If their not planning on putting their crop to an alternate use at this time, they really don’t need to contact us until the crop is harvested. Then we will do what we call a post-harvest claim, so after harvest they’ll notify us of their total production for each crop and if that triggers a claim for them we’ll process it at that time.” Hulston added.

She says the low yield appraisal threshold value has been doubled, meaning farmers can salvage their crops as feed without negatively impacting future coverage.

She gave the example of oats: the low yield threshold for oats is 10 bushels an acre, but with it being doubled to 20 bushels an acre, that means if the yield is 20 bushels or lower and a farmer chooses to redirect that crop for feed, they can “get paid from the program as though it were zero and then salvage the remaining crop as feed, and then they can either bale or graze or silage that crop.”

In a news release, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit says this same initiative was implemented in 2021, resulting in over 345-thousand acres of additional crop redirected to feed.

Customers are advised to contact their local SCIC office before beginning to graze, bale, or silage their damaged crop.

For AgriStability participants, the Ministry of Agriculture says they “may apply for the interim benefit option to access a portion of their 2023 benefit early”. Farmers “enrolled in AgriStability for the 2023 year can access 50 percent of their estimated final benefit” according to the Ministry, adding “additional expenses a producer incurs to procure additional feed is an eligible expense through the AgriStability Program.”

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