Alta. Boosts AgriInsurance Benefits For 2009

Increased benefits for unseeded acreage and reseeding, plus coverage for a couple of additional crops, are among the changes planned for Alberta’s crop production insurance in 2009.

AgriInsurance, as crop insurance has been dubbed as part of the federal/provincial Growing Forward framework, is offered in Alberta through the province’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC).

For 2009, the province said in a release April 1, AgriInsurance will now include coverage for canary-seed and camelina.

As well, producers will be offered increased benefits for reseeding, in most crops, and for unseeded acreage – changes which the province said reflects “the new reality of higher fuel and fertilizer costs.”

“The past couple of years have shown the devastating impact weather can have on yields,” the province said in its release. “When you add the recent volatility in commodity prices into the mix it becomes apparent that producers need some level of protection against these risks.”

Continuing in 2009 from its introduction in 2008, AFSC will use individual coverage as its method to establish coverage, meaning a farmer’s actual yields are the data used to set his or her yield coverage.

“Individual coverage is easier to understand and directly links yields to coverage,” the province said. “It rewards producers who use best management practices with higher coverage.”

Also moving forward from its launch in 2008, AFSC will continue “yield trending” – that is, restating or “trending” older yield records to reflect current varieties and management, which in turn have resulted in increased coverage.

AgriInsurance joins other BRM programs such as AgriStability and AgriInvest, provided in partnership through the national Growing Forward initiative with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

But farmers should be aware that the ag disaster recovery compensation through AgriRecovery, another BRM program, is not meant to replace other existing BRM programs such as production and price risk insurance, the province cautioned.

“If producers choose not to participate in available insurance programs and disaster strikes they may not have coverage for their loss,” the province said.

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