GFM Network News


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Saskatchewan to pare school tax mill rate for farmland

EPT mill rates to rise for residential, other properties

Saskatchewan’s latest budget taps down the education property tax (EPT) mill rate it sets on farmland, while raising those mill rates on other property classes. The provincial government, in Tuesday’s budget, set the provincewide EPT mill rate on agricultural land for 2021 at 1.36, down slightly from the previous rate of 1.43. EPT mill rates […] Read more

CBOT May 2021 corn with 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages. (Barchart)

U.S. grains: Corn, soy, wheat futures ease in setback from surges

Sovecon raises Russian wheat export forecast

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. grain and soybean futures eased on Monday in a setback from rallies driven by concerns about tight crop supplies. The markets will likely not decline too sharply, traders said, because of strong demand from China and the need for large global harvests. In corn, speculative bullishness in corn remains near […] Read more


Relatively low payouts in recent years mean the province’s crop insurer can afford to sharply reduce premiums and have enough in reserve to cover “a significant wreck.” (* The size of AFSC’s reserve fund for crop insurance in billions of dollars. The figure for 2020 may be adjusted as it reflects payouts made as of Jan. 31 and processing of the 2020 year is still ongoing).

Big crop insurance premium cut may last for years, says AFSC

Barring a big crop wreck, this year’s 20-per-cent cut in premiums will continue for five years, says CEO

Reading Time: 5 minutes Alberta farmers will see a 20 per cent cut to crop insurance premiums this year — and if all goes well, those savings could continue over the next five years. “We’re providing a premium break right now that will lower the cost to producers in the program — (but) even doing that, we still find […] Read more

AFSC CEO Darryl Kay announced a 20 per cent cut in farmers’ AgriInsurance premiums for the 2021 crop year on Jan. 25. (AFSC video screengrab via YouTube)

Alberta crop insurer taps reserve to cut premiums

AFSC to pare premiums by 20 per cent

The reserve at Alberta’s Crown crop insurance agency will be tapped to offset the premiums charged to farmers for the 2021 crop year, and possibly for longer. The province’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC) said Monday its farmer customers will get a 20 per cent discount on crop insurance premiums this year — which on […] Read more


(Dave Bedard file photo)

Manitoba to consolidate and shut agriculture, MASC offices

Province announces 'new rural service delivery model'

Updated, Jan. 7 — Manitoba’s agriculture and resource development department and crop insurance and ag lending agency will close their offices in 21 communities and consolidate others this spring, in a bid to reduce their “physical footprint.” Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen on Wednesday announced what the province billed as “a new rural service delivery model […] Read more

There were more than 12,100 hail claims in Western Canada in 2020.

Alberta suffered the most hail damage on the Prairies this year

Reading Time: < 1 minute This year was below the five-year average for hail claims for Prairie farmers but saw higher-than-average claim payments. Overall, the industry will record a near break-even type of year. Claims produced insurance payouts of over $192 million on more than 12,100 claims in Western Canada. Producer premiums totalled just over $300 million for an industry […] Read more


Manitoba Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen speaks at Ag Days in Brandon on Jan. 21, 2020. (Manitoba Co-operator file photo by Alexis Stockford)

AgriStability proposal could have hidden cost, Pedersen warns

Manitoba's ag minister warns Bibeau's plan may hurt crop insurance, AgriInvest funding

Ottawa’s proposal for an improved AgriStability program could give farmers short-term gain for long-term pain, Manitoba’s agriculture minister Blaine Pedersen warns. At the online federal-provincial-territorial agriculture ministers’ meeting on Friday, federal Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau proposed dropping AgriStability’s maximum reference margin, and increasing the compensation rate from 70 to 80 per cent retroactively this […] Read more

New AFSC boss makes for the third one this year

Reading Time: < 1 minute Agriculture Financial Services Corporation has appointed Darryl Kay as its new CEO. Kay has worked with the crop insurer and lender for nearly a decade, most recently as chief financial and innovation officer. Kay takes over from Jerry Bouma, a board member and agri-food management consultant who has been interim CEO since Steve Blakely retired […] Read more


A guest looks at their corn cob-themed tie signed by U.S. President Donald Trump during a signing ceremony for the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Jan. 29, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Leah Millis)

Trump’s payments to farmers hit all-time high ahead of election

Canadian growers seek level playing field

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. President Donald Trump is assuring a bumper year for farmers as the Nov. 3 election approaches, with record government subsidies projected to make up more than a third of farm income in 2020. The aid programs could be key to Trump’s chances of success in swing states such as Wisconsin, […] Read more

Fall rye flowering in south-central Manitoba. (Allan Dawson photo)

Manitoba winter wheat, fall rye seeding deadlines extended

MASC spots growers an extra two weeks

Manitoba’s provincial crop insurance agency will spot growers of fall rye and winter wheat an extra couple of weeks to get insurable crops in the ground. Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC) announced Tuesday that growers can get full coverage on winter wheat or fall rye seeded from Aug. 15 to Sept. 25, and reduced coverage […] Read more