WLPIP calf price insurance deadline extended

Three-week extension includes nine purchasing days

Cattle producers in the western provinces will get extra decision-making time this year on the calf price insurance available through Western Livestock Price Insurance (WLPIP).

The Prairies’ Crown ag insurance corporations announced Thursday that the deadline to buy WLPIP calf price insurance for 2020 has been extended to June 18.

The new deadline, reset from May 28, gives eligible cattle producers “an additional three weeks to monitor premiums and purchase calf price insurance policies,” Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC) said in a notice.

However, Alberta’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC), in a separate release Thursday, noted the extension gives producers just nine extra purchasing days, as available coverage options are published only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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The extension only applies to this spring’s purchasing period, AFSC noted. All calf price insurance fall settlement dates remain the same.

Typically, the calf program insures calves born in the spring and sold in the fall; cow-calf producers buy price insurance from February to the end of May, for their intended marketings from September to December.

Available policy lengths range from 16 to 36 weeks, and for each policy length, a range of coverage levels is offered, typically from 75 to 95 per cent of the expected forward price, each corresponding with a premium.

Coverage levels and premiums change daily based on market factors including CME feeder cattle futures, currency exchange rates, barley prices, basis and feeder-to-calf price spread.

The deadline extension was granted “in response to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic,” AFSC said Thursday.

The “initial reaction” to COVID-19 negatively impacted beef sales through its direct link to the food services industry, AFSC said, and the pandemic has since led to “increased volatility in cattle prices, due to fear of the unknown.”

The extended deadline “will allow cattle producers more time to evaluate and make decisions based on their risk tolerance and their operation,” interim AFSC CEO Jerry Bouma said in Thursday’s release.

“The market is moving in the right direction and should offer the affordability that producers depend on, and give them the opportunity to participate in the calf insurance program.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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