Province announces increase in AgriInsurance coverage


The province announced it is increasing its AgriInsurance coverage for 2013 by 13 per cent to an all time high of $2.6 billion.

As well, the areas eligible for insurance will be expanded to offer insured values that keep pace with changes in the market.

The increase is a result of higher insured crop values compared to 2012, resulting in about $200 million of additional insured coverage. Even with pressure on provincial budgets, the Province of Manitoba continues its strong commitment to the agricultural sector, with the province's share of AgriInsurance premiums increasing to $67.16 million for 2013, up $8.3 million from last year.

"We understand that insurance is the first line of defence for farms and this is why from 2010 to 2012, AgriInsurance paid out over $700 million to Manitoba producers,"  said Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn in a release. "This has provided producers, their farm operations and communities with the stability needed to be successful."

The release mentions that work continues on reviewing livestock insurance in partnership with other provinces.  In addition, Manitoba will be developing a new set of forage programs for Manitoba producers with an anticipated launch of 2014.  These changes are in keeping with the commitment to enhance AgriInsurance under the Federal-Provincial Growing Forward 2 Agreement.  

The AgriInsurance changes for 2013 include:

* Expanding insurance availability, on a test basis, to soybeans, grain corn, sunflowers and dry edible beans, which previously were restricted to certain designated areas.  The development of new varieties in recent years has allowed for insurance to be provided outside of traditional growing areas.

* Expanding the Pasture Days Insurance Pilot Program to the Dauphin and Neepawa insurance agencies, with the objective of determining how much demand there is for this product.

* Adding an over-seeding option to the Forage Restoration Benefit.  This provides producers with another option for restoring damaged forage crops.

The deadline for applying for or making changes to an AgriInsurance contract is April 2.

Under AgriInsurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Province of Manitoba. Administrative expenses are paid 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Manitoba.

With files from Manitoba news release