Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Farmers get a good break

17, 2012


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New Support Totals $170 Million: Kostyshyn
BRANDON--Farmers and their families will benefit from an increase in AgriInsurance that will help them deal with extreme weather and marketing challenges, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced at Ag Days here today.
“Farmers have been experiencing some major challenges, whether it’s the unprecedented spring flood of 2011 or near drought conditions.  Our government has been investing in innovative programs and providing support to help them manage these challenges,” said Kostyshyn.   “Crop insurance is the best and first line of defence against production losses.  The adjustments we’re making keep the insurance program in balance with the realities of production in today’s environment and support farmers and their families.”

The minister noted for 2012, AgriInsurance crop values (prices) are up on average of 8.7 per cent compared to 2011.  This results in $170 million of additional insured coverage.  Over the last two years, AgriInsurance has paid out well over $500 million in indemnities, resulting in an average increase of five per cent in premium rates this year.  The Province of Manitoba’s share of AgriInsurance premiums is expected to be $58.86 million in 2012-13, up $8.5 million from 2011-12, said the minister.
Kostyshyn said other changes include:
  • An additional excess moisture insurance (EMI) top-up option will be provided for 2012 of $15 per acre.  This provides coverage of up to $80 per acre for land that is too wet to seed by June 20.  In addition to the basic EMI coverage of $50 per acre, producers can now select either of the higher dollar value options of $65 or $80 per acre.  This additional benefit is being funded through a deferral of the increase to wildlife damage compensation that will remain at 90 per cent this year.  Premiums for the highest level of EMI coverage ($65 to $80 per acre) is cost shared 67 per cent by participating producers, 20 per cent by the federal government and 13 per cent by the provincial government.
  • Forage establishment insurance will increase to $70 per acre from $60.
  • The forage restoration benefit, which provides compensation for damage to forage crops due to excess moisture, will increase to $70 per acre from $60.
 “As a farmer I know how valuable programs like these are as they provide stability for farmers and rural communities where agriculture is a major economic driver,” said Kostyshyn. 
The minister further noted that for 2012, producers will only be able to buy their EMI deductible down to five per cent, rather than zero as in previous years.   The change is necessary following new rules from the federal government requiring all insurance programs to have a deductible.
Under AgriInsurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating farmers, 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.
More information on AgriInsurance is available at local Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation  offices.

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