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Crop insurance reforms to benefit corn, soybean farmers

Following years of working together with the province on crop insurance rates and policies that better represent and support farmers, the Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA) and Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers (MPSG) are pleased to share with their growers the news of a reformed AgriInsurance program heading into the 2018 growing season.

The province has removed the 15 per cent pre-harvest (Stage 2UH) claim deductible for corn and soybeans, a change both MCGA and MPSG have advocated for on behalf of their farmers for more than five years.

"We would like to thank the Province of Manitoba for listening," says Myron Krahn, MCGA president. "These changes will benefit farmers. We have been working with the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) on this file for a long time. We persisted. We're thrilled."

Previously, a complete write-off of either crop prior to harvest would result in only 85 per cent of the farmer's eligible loss recovery. Now, in such cases producers are able to receive their full eligible coverage.

The soybean coverage test areas have also been reduced, resulting in the addition of more than 200,000 permanent-insurance acres, according to the government release, which also announced positive changes to soybean AgriInsurance rates and premiums.

"Since 2011 or so, we've been a broken record on advocating for these changes," says Rick Vaags, MPSG director. "I'd attend every crop insurance with the same speaking notes. We are thankful to Manitoba Agriculture for this great news. Our farmers will benefit."

More than 8,400 farms are enrolled in AgriInsurance, which is a risk management program administered by MASC. 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, according to the news release.

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.

"AgriInsurance continues to be an essential risk management tool that acts as the first line of defence for Manitoba farmers," said Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. "The improvements planned for 2018 reflect the changes in our industry, ensuring coverage remains comprehensive and responsive to the needs of producers."