Provincial crop insurance officials are anticipating a flood of Excess Moisture Insurance claims as the June 23 deadline for applications approaches.
While the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) doesn’t know how many acres will have been too wet to seed by the June 20 deadline, officials expect it will be higher than last year.
Farmers still have some cropping options for after the June 20 crop insurance seeding deadline, including greenfeed, which is eligible for crop insurance at 20 per cent or normal coverage when planted up by July 15.
Farmers apply for EMI payouts through MASC’s Seeded Acreage Report, which normally doesn’t have to be submitted until June 30, unless the farmer is making an EMI claim. As a result some farmers might not be aware of the June 23 deadline.
“If you’re done seeding everything you can now and don’t think you’ll get more in by June 20 you can file now,” David Koroscil, MASC’s manager of insurance projects and sales said in an interview last week. “Some guys are coming in and basically saying they’re done.”
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Farmers can file Seed Acreage Reports online, by fax or at their local MASC office.
There isn’t much time between the seeding and EMI filing deadline because MASC needs to verify the land farmers claim was too wet to seed, in fact was, Koroscil said.
“In a year like this in the southwest we know it’s wet, but if somebody puts in a claim, say from Miami, we may want to go out and confirm that it was truly wet,” he said.
There was good seeding progress in much of Manitoba last week, said David Van Deynze, MASC’s manager of claim services. But there were exceptions, including the southwest. As of June 13 he estimated only 25 per cent of the RM of Edward had been seeded.
Last year 219,241 insured acres were too wet to plant by June 20. That was almost double the 117,623 acres unseeded in 2012.
The record was three million acres set in 2011.
“Last year we had a little bit (of unseeded acreage due to wet conditions) but it was almost considered a normal year the way things have been going the last few years,” Van Deynze said. “Two hundred thousand acres is not unheard of and it’s not even a bad number anymore. This year we’re in significantly more trouble than that in some areas.”
However, large parts of the province, including much of the central and eastern region, are close to 100 per cent seeded, he said.
EMI is part of the federal-provincial crop insurance program in Manitoba. Eligible farmers can get at least $50 per acre on land too wet to seed, less a minimum five per cent deductible. So for example, if a farmer has a 1,000-acre farm and all of it was too wet to seed, that farmer would be paid on 950 acres, Koroscil said.
The EMI deductible increases by five per cent following each year the farmer makes a claim and declines by the same amount to a minimum of five per cent following claim-free years.
Farmers can buy down their deductible and pay a fee to increase their coverage to $75 or $100 an acre, but must do so by Nov. 30 the year before spring seeding.
Some farmers who didn’t get around to doing it last year have signed up now to boost EMI coverage for 2015, realizing they might be too busy to think about it this fall, Koroscil said.