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MASC harvest production reports deadline Dec. 2

Farmers who file online will find out right away if they are in a claim position

The deadline for Manitoba farmers to submit crop insurance Harvest Production Reports to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) is Dec. 2, whether the farmer completed harvest or not.

Both the paper and online report forms should be easier for farmers to fill out because less information is now required, David Van Deynze, MASC’s vice-president of innovation and product support, said in an interview Nov. 20.

While there’s still unharvested crop, there’s probably half as much as there was a month ago, he said.

David Van Deynze.
photo: Allan Dawson

“A good number of the acres out there are corn that we don’t believe there’s a huge risk of not getting it done,” Van Deynze said.

Farmers with unharvested crop must contact MASC before destroying it or using it for another purpose such as cattle feed, he added.

Why it matters: Harvest Production Reports are critical to operating the federal-provincial crop insurance (AgriInsurance) program. They are used to determine if farmers are eligible for a payout and used to calculate farmers’ long-term average yields.

Crop insurance not only insures yield, but for most crops, a minimum grade too. That means a farmer whose yield was high enough not to trigger a payout might be eligible because the grade was low.

Farmers who use paper forms can mail them to MASC, drop then off at their local MASC office or fax them in.

As of Nov. 12, Manitoba Agriculture estimated nine per cent of Manitoba’s 2019 crop was unharvested. A snowfall across much of agro-Manitoba Nov. 20 reduces the chances that there will be much more harvesting, other than for taller crops such as corn and sunflowers, Van Deynze said.

“It’s hard to know,” he said. “I almost thought that a couple of weeks ago and then we still had an opportunity to do more so never say never I guess. But every time we get more snow later into the winter the likelihood of it disappearing again (before spring) gets smaller all the time.”

The rule about not destroying a crop before talking to MASC also applies to crops left out until spring, Van Deynze said.

“We will follow up with those guys in the spring, even if they are not in a claim position… to try and get the last bit of information on how their yields went and that sort of thing,” he said. “It’s certainly not the end of the process if they have acres left out there. In some ways it’s the start because it could be what kick-starts them for a claim, but ultimately we will follow up with them to get what their final yield results are when that is known for sure.”

When a farmer destroys or uses a crop for feed without checking with MASC first, it’s going to hurt any potential insurance claim, Van Deynze said.

“We’re not going to assume that (the yield of what was destroyed) was zero,” he said. “That’s just not what we do. We assume there was something there and in most cases we will assume it was equal to his coverage… which basically takes those acres out of a claim situation.”

During the Keystone Agricultural Producers’ advisory council meeting in Brandon Oct. 25, president Bill Campbell speculated fewer farmers than one might assume will qualify for a crop insurance payment because many harvested enough grain earlier to exceed their coverage.

“Early indications are that he’s pretty bang on with that,” Van Deynze said.

“It’s certainly not that nobody is in a claim position. But for a lot of producers they were down to the last — pick a number — say 20 per cent of their acres, which really puts them in a marginal claim position, if they are in a claim position at all.

“Again for some farmers it is certainly a struggle, but provincially we haven’t figured out where it’s going to be, but certainly it’s not, we don’t think, going to be to the same extent as what it might have looked like awhile ago.”

Meanwhile, MASC is issuing advance payments on claims where a farmer is clearly in a claim position, Van Deynze said.

“We’ve certainly done that for a lot of forage claims already,” he said. “The process is just nicely underway for a lot of the crops, because again, it’s driven by the Harvest Production Reports.”

As of last week Van Deynze estimated about half those reports had been filed.

Farmers can fill out their Harvest Production Reports online by logging into ‘myMASC’ on the MASC website.

Farmers without an online MASC account will be prompted to create one. Filing online is not only convenient, but farmers in a potential claim position will be notified when the form is submitted.

Online option

Farmers can fill out their Harvest Production Reports online by logging into ‘myMASC’ on the MASC website.

Farmers without an online MASC account will be prompted to create one. Filing online is not only convenient, but farmers in a potential claim position will be notified when the form is submitted.

About the author

Reporter

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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