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Manitoba seeks improved participation in forage insurance program


February 4, 2020
By Top Crop Manager

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Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development (MARD) is launching a review to better understand the purchasing decisions of Manitoba producers regarding forage insurance products available through Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), MARD Minister Blaine Pedersen announced recently.

“Manitoba forage producers have had back-to-back challenging production years,” Pedersen said. “We also know that a relatively small proportion of forage acres are insured, compared to annual crops. To bridge that gap, we need to better understand their risks, challenges and how the current program does or does not meet their needs.”

MASC offers various insurance and lending products to agricultural producers in Manitoba, including forage insurance. More than 1,200 producers currently have forage insurance, representing more than 272,000 acres. This represents about 18 per cent of the more than 1.5 million eligible acres in Manitoba. For comparison, about 90 per cent of annual crop acreage is insured through MASC.

Mike Lesiuk, former provincial director of agricultural policy, will lead the review. It will ask forage producers for their perceptions about insurance products, how they currently manage risks and how the program can evolve to support growth in Manitoba’s livestock sector. The intention is to engage producers, producer groups and other stakeholders.

The review will also include an environmental scan of other programs available in Canada and related research. Recommendations will be provided to MASC and the minister later this spring.