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New Forage Insurance Package Available for Manitoba Beef Producers

30 October 2013

CANADA - A new AgriInsurance forage package will be available in 2014 to provide increased protection for Manitoba beef and forage producers, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced.

"This Government believes in putting farmers first and is working closely with provinces, territories and industry to build a better future for agriculture in Canada," said Minister Ritz. "With improved and more flexible forage insurance products to choose from, Manitoba hay producers now have greater incentive to protect their feed supplies from weather-related risks."

"Beef and forage producers have been asking for improved risk management tools," said Minister Kostyshyn. "These new insurance options for forages were developed with input from Manitoba Beef Producers, Keystone Agricultural Producers and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association to meet insurance needs identified by producers. The new package will be affordable, flexible and help farm families continue to succeed, adding vibrancy to our rural economies."

The new forage insurance package is based on recommendations made by the industry-government forage task team to improve forage and pasture insurance and increase participation. It is expected that by offering more options and improved coverage, more producers will be encouraged to protect their feed source, reducing the need for future assistance programs.

Forage insurance is provided through AgriInsurance, a federal-provincial-territorial Business Risk Management Program supported through Growing Forward 2 and administered by Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).

"It's certainly something our members have been asking for - and it appears MASC has responded to most of their requests in creating this revolutionary program," said Doug Chorney, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP). "It means that producers in this province will now have a good risk management tool for both forage crops and pastures."

"I want to thank Minister Kostyshyn and Minister Ritz for their support of these reforms," said Trevor Atchison, president of Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP). "Beef producers have been calling for reforms to forage insurance for some time, these changes are positive, and they will put new and effective risk management tools into ranchers' hands. We appreciate the work MASC has put into the development of the new programs and we applaud MASC's willingness to come to each of MBP's 14 district meetings to present this new offering and answer producers' questions."

"We are very pleased to have this initiative move forward and were glad to be a part of the process, it will be a huge benefit to our members," Wanda McFadyen, executive director of the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association.

Producers will be able to choose between Select Hay Insurance, which provides quality and production guarantees for different forage types on an individual basis, and Basic Hay Insurance, which insures against production losses on a whole-farm basis at a lower cost. Other options include:

  • a Harvest Flood Option for coarse hay should a producer be unable to harvest this hay type due to excess moisture, and
  • an Enhanced Quality Option for alfalfa hay producers based on an individualized relative feed value.

Participants in either the Select Hay Insurance or Basic Hay Insurance program automatically receive the Forage Restoration Benefit and Hay Disaster Benefit at no extra cost. The Forage Restoration Benefit provides compensation for producers to reseed established tame hay fields that are lost due to excess moisture. The new Hay Disaster Benefit provides a program participant who experienced a production shortfall with additional compensation to purchase replacement hay. This benefit is triggered when there is a severe forage crop loss at the provincial level.

Existing features such as Forage Establishment Insurance and Pasture Insurance continue to be available to producers through Manitoba's AgriInsurance program.

Under AgriInsurance, premiums for the new forage package 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, with the exception of the Hay Disaster Benefit, which is fully funded by governments.

For further information, contact the local MASC Insurance Office or check their website at The deadline to sign-up is March 31, 2014.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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