How to switch your crop to alternate use

The AgriInsurance program provides flexibility for producers to put their crop to alternate use during the growing season. Alternate use means a change to the use of a crop from what was originally intended when planting in the spring. For example, if you indicated on your Seeded Acreage Report that you were growing oats for grain but choose to cut it for greenfeed instead, this would be considered alternate use.

If you are considering putting your crop to an alternate use (silage, greenfeed, grazing) for your own use or someone else’s, here’s what you need to know from an insurance perspective.

  • Contact Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) immediately by phone or email. Please have the legal land descriptions and number of acres you plan to put to an alternate use available. It is ideal to have an adjuster appraise your crop prior to putting it to alternate use. However, if timing doesn’t allow for an adjuster to assess your crop prior to putting it to alternate use, producers must leave strips (one 10-foot-wide strip, the full length of the field for every 40 acres) so that the adjuster can accurately assess the crop at a later date.
  • The appraisal determined by the adjuster will be used to finalize the insurance claim and will be included when calculating your future coverage. For example, if the appraisal is 20 bushels per acre and you elect to cut it for feed, MASC will count these 20 bushels per acre as if it were harvested for grain. The proceeds from alternate-use production (i.e. greenfeed or silage sales) are not part of your crop claim calculation. The assessment can also be helpful in determining the value of the crop if it will be used for an alternate use for your operation or to sell.
  • It is up to the producer to decide whether they want to harvest the crop or put it to alternate use. An appraisal must be completed prior to cutting or adequate strips left for appraisal at a later date to ensure a representative yield can be used for a claim calculation.

If you have greenfeed, hay, straw, or pasture land available or are looking to purchase greenfeed, hay, straw, or pasture land, use the Agriculture and Resource Development’s (ARD) online resource to buy or sell — Manitoba Hay Listing Service.

For more information on greenfeed, visit Managing Dry Conditions for Crops and Livestock on the province of Manitoba website.

About the author

Reporter

Alexis Stockford

Alexis Stockford is a journalist and photographer with the Manitoba Co-operator. She previously reported with the Morden Times and was news editor of  campus newspaper, The Omega, at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC. She grew up on a mixed farm near Miami, Man.

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