On August 30, SCA board members and staff were part of a meeting with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture staff, Agriculture and Agri Food Canada staff and other producer organization representatives to continue work on improving forage insurance in Saskatchewan. This working group has been meeting regularly.
This is part of ongoing work at SCA and at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association to make sure government programs do not favour one type of land use over another. Annual crop insurance that is better than perennial crop insurance is not beneficial to perennial crops (hay and grasslands). In recent years, governments have also said producers need to better utilize production insurance for hay and grazing lands. Producers have not signed up for grass and hay insurance in near the proportion of annual crop insurance production.
When a drought or flood event occurs, federal and provincial governments are increasingly saying the programs offered ahead of time are what producers have to rely on. If you are not in the programs offered, that was your decision. SCA is working to make sure the programs offered are of value, so producers have good tools to choose from. Producers may not choose to use them, but it should not be due to program design. The removal of the cap on the variable price option of tame hay insurance was a good improvement to that program rolled out this past spring.
It is fortunate that the growing season we have had is not likely to trigger many claims on forage insurance this year. But for producers uncomfortable with shouldering all the risk of a productive growing season next year, SCA is working with the government and other stakeholders to make sure the programs offered are useful for managing some of that risk.