Sask. to raise threshold for crop insurance payouts

Insured Saskatchewan crops won’t have to wreck quite as badly this year before they qualify for a full crop insurance payout.

Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud announced Tuesday that he would raise the threshold at which a farmer will be eligible for full payment for a crop loss.

For example, a farmer whose wheat field yields below five bushels per acre will be eligible for a full payout, up from the previous threshold of 2.49 bushels per acre. Thresholds vary by crop.

Bjornerud’s decision follows his recent tour of drought-stricken areas of west-central and northwestern Saskatchewan.

“I have now seen first-hand the impact the drought is having on this year’s crops and pastures,” Bjornerud, a farmer from the province’s southeast, said in a release Tuesday. “These additional measures were requested by the producers I met with last week during my tour of the drought area.”

Bjornerud also announced a measure that allows producers to spray out or till their crop and be eligible for summerfallow coverage next year. This must be accomplished before July 15, the province said.

Three other crop insurance measures were introduced last week, including extending the greenfeed seeding deadline from June 30 to July 15; allowing insured farmers to seed and insure any cereal greenfeed crop; and an increased number of farmers will now have their claims processed without field inspection in order to receive their payments faster.

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