Sask. crop insurance deadlines extended

Waterlogged farmers in Saskatchewan have again been granted extensions on their seeding deadlines to qualify for crop insurance.

“While I hope the extension will give producers some extra time to get their seed in the ground and still be insured, we all realize the best solution to this situation would be some warm, dry weather,” provincial Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud said in a release Tuesday.

For areas with longer growing seasons, such as Kindersley, Rosetown, Leader, Swift Current in the province’s west, or southern areas such as Moose Jaw and Estevan, insured farmers will now be able to seed and insure most crops until June 20, the province said.

In the rest of the province, crop insurance customers will now have insurance on any crop seeded by June 15 — the exceptions being barley, oats, mustard, peas and polish canola, which can be seeded and insured up to June 20.

Chickpea, lentil, dry bean and potato crops across the province are not included in any of the extensions because they require more days to reach maturity, the province said.

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. (SCIC) provided similar extensions in areas of excess moisture during the 2010 growing season.

If insured farmers are still unable to seed by the new deadlines due to excess moisture, they can access their Unseeded Acreage feature as of June 20, the province said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in areas with “extreme” moisture — where land will not be in a condition to seed — producers can register Unseeded Acreage claims as of June 15.

SCIC’s unseeded acreage payment provides $70 per acre, less seeding and insurance intensities and a five per cent deductible.

New in the province’s 2011 unseeded acreage package, seeding intensity will be calculated using all acres that are too wet to seed, thus preventing seeding intensities from being lowered in years where there are wet acres — including, retroactively, wet acres in 2010.

Normally, the seeding intensity figure is a four-year average of the percentage of seeded acres compared to cultivated acres.

Insurance intensity, meanwhile, remains a percentage of acres insured compared to acres that could have been insured. The Saskatchewan program applies the greater one of three figures: current year’s insurance intensity, previous year’s intensity or four-year average intensity.

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