Saskatchewan offers up corn rainfall insurance plan

Emerging corn plants in Canada. (Sophie-Caron/iStock/Getty Images)

Saskatchewan’s crop insurance offerings for 2019 will include a new program allowing corn growers to insure against a substantial drop in moisture.

The provincial and federal government on Feb. 26 rolled out Saskatchewan’s 2019 crop insurance program, in which coverage levels on average are to reach a record $230 per acre, up from $216 last year.

The 2019 program introduces the Corn Rainfall Program (CRP), a weather-based program for silage, grazing and grain corn producers to insure acres against moisture shortages over the growing season.

Under the CRP, a claim would be triggered when precipitation at the grower’s selected weather station is below 80 per cent of normal. Payouts are graduated, rising as the precipitation level decreases.

For example, just 3.5 per cent of indemnity would be paid out on a CRP-insured corn field receiving between 78 and 80 per cent of normal moisture; 100 per cent of indemnity would be paid out when precipitation comes in at less than 32 per cent of normal.

For each land location insured, a producer must first pick a weather station best representing the conditions for the land, and also choose a “weighting option,” which weights the monthly precipitation from May through August to best suit the local growing season, corn variety and the crop’s intended use.

The weighting options Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. (SCIC) will offer include a 20-40-40 per cent option for May, June and July, respectively; 15-35-35-15 per cent for May, June, July and August; and 20-40-40 per cent for June, July and August.

The grower must also pick a precipitation cap of either 125 or 150 per cent of normal for each land location. The capping option helps in months when a significant rainfall event happens, but doesn’t rule out coverage when the rest of the growing season comes in below normal.

Both the CRP and the province’s Corn Heat Unit (CHU) program will provide an establishment benefit of $90 per acre on crops that fail to adequately establish or suffer damage before June 20.

CRP coverage is available at $100, $150, $200 or $300 per acre, SCIC said. Not all of a grower’s corn acres need to be insured under the program, but all acres on the program contract must be insured at the same level of coverage.

Acres can be covered through both the CRP and the CHU, though those same acres can’t also be insured under the corn multi-peril yield-loss program, SCIC said. A grower opting for CRP and CHU coverage together will get a coverage level of $150 per acre independently for each of the two programs. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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