Farmers have until Monday Dec. 1 to select whether they want to bump up next year’s excess moisture insurance coverage to $75 or $100 an acre.
Dec. 1 is also the deadline for filing 2014 Harvest Production Reports to the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).
Farmers who miss the Dec. 1 deadline, including those who have never had EMI coverage before, will only be eligible for the $50 an acre basic EMI coverage, David Koroscil, MASC’s manager of insurance projects and sales, said in an interview Nov. 28.
Farmers who miss the Dec. 1 deadline for filing Harvest Production Reports face a $100 late fee. And if they are eligible for a claim there will be a 25 per cent deduction up to a maximum of $1,000 on their claim, he said.
Harvest Production Reports serves two purposes.
“One is it identifies potential claims so we can get out and adjust,” Koroscil said. “The second component is the information is used to calculate their future coverage. It forms part of the 10-year average (yield).”
Most farmers with a crop insurance claim have filed already, but sometimes a farmer is in a claim position without realizing it, Koroscil said. It’s usually the result of the crop falling below the grade guaranteed under the crop insurance program.
About 75 per cent of the Harvest Production Reports had been filed by Nov. 28, Koroscil said.
“The majority drop them off at the (local MASC) office and review them with staff to make sure they’re complete,” he said.
Farmers can also file the reports online, an option selected by 25 to 30 per cent of clients, he said.
The reports can be faxed or deposited in MASC drop boxes after hours.
They can also be mailed to MASC, but must be post marked by Dec. 1. Be forewarned though, many smaller post offices aren’t post-marking mail, so it doesn’t get done until it arrives in Winnipeg, Koroscil said. In some cases the mail MASC gets hasn’t been post marked, he added.
“We’ve seen a fair bit of activity on (EMI) just because of how wet conditions were in the fall and what had occurred in 2014 as well,” Koroscil said.
In the spring of 2014, there were 985,000 acres too wet to seed, triggering $63 million in EMI payouts against 2,400 claims.
Many farmers have opted to buy $75 and $100 an acre coverage for 2015 and some have bought down their deductible, Koroscil said.
The EMI deductible rises by five per cent every year there is a claim and declines by the same when there is no claim.
“Most of the ones that are late (filing) had a good crop and sort of forgot about the deadline,” Koroscil said. “We do radio advertising and most of our offices send out email reminders to anyone who has given us their email address as well. And we do phone calls. We try to minimize late forms as much as possible.”