Average Manitoba 2017 crop insurance coverage up, premiums down

AgriInsurance covers 90 per cent of annual crops seed in this province

AgriInsurance coverage in Manitoba is expected to exceed $2.6 billion this year — the second-highest level on record — on 9.6 million acres of land, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler said Jan. 17 while speaking here at Ag Days.

While coverage is increasing an average seven per cent, premium rates are down an average of four per cent, compared to last year.

“Through AgriInsurance, we continue to offer a comprehensive risk management program for Manitoba’s farmers, which is effective whether they are just starting out or have had years of experience,” Eichler said. “To ensure the long-term growth of our province’s agriculture sector, AgriInsurance is an essential tool, as it provides reliable protection against the unpredictable challenges of weather and other production-related risks.”

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More than 8,400 Manitoba farms are enrolled in AgriInsurance, Eichler said in a news release. Manitoba has the highest level of AgriInsurance participation in Canada, covering over 90 per cent of annual crop acres.

AgriInsurance is funded by the federal and provincial government and farmers. The two governments’ share of AgriInsurance premiums for 2017-18 is expected to be $136.3 million.

Under AgriInsurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating farmers, 36 per cent and 24 per cent by the federal and Manitoba governments, respectively. Administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Ottawa and 40 per cent by Manitoba.

The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), which was expanded to include Manitoba cattle and hog producers in 2014, provides protection against unexpected price declines. Due to lower cattle prices in 2016, WLPIP paid out $1.7 million to producers, with 73 per cent of insured calves qualifying for a payment. The average payment for each calf that qualified for an indemnity was $94.

Under WLPIP, administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba. Premiums are paid by participating producers.

AgriInsurance and WLPIP are risk management programs supported through Growing Forward 2, the five-year federal-provincial-territorial policy framework, and are administered by the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).

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