Feeding pasture cattle on insured hay fields

Here are the options for pasturing cattle on insured hay fields. If clients have any questions or concerns about the policy or procedures they should contact their local Agricultural Financial Services (AFSC) branch office.

This spring has experienced low precipitation rates and windy conditions in many parts of the province that may be contributing to poor forage growth. Some AFSC clients may wish to pasture insured hay fields prior to haying being general in the area.

Clients wishing to pasture their insured hay acres prior to haying being general in their area will need to contact AFSC and request approval to use the hay crop for an alternate use and a pre-harvest inspection. At the discretion of AFSC the client may be given the option, to place a sufficient number of exclosures that are fenced off, and representative of the field. The placement and maintenance of these sites and associated costs are solely the responsibility of the client. When AFSC declares haying being general in an area, OFI will then complete a pre-harvest inspection and the average yield potential will be based on these fenced off exclosures for that field.

If approval has been granted, the client will then be responsible to place a sufficient number of exclosures that are fenced off and representative of each field being requested for alternate use. A minimum of two sites per field and up to 40 acres is required, and a minimum of one site for every additional 40 acres is also required. Clients may build sites from material they have on hand; AFSC’s recommendation is to use eight to 10 ft steel panels, gates or round bales feeders. These will have to be solidly secured to the ground and, if needed, wrapped with material such as page or cement wire to protect the site from livestock grazing.

AFSC will assess uninsured causes on the hay field(s) that:

  • Are grazed prior to approval;
  • Have insufficient and/or non-representative placement of exclosures; and/or
  • The exclosures were not properly secure from livestock.

If a client does not wish to use exclosures they may have the following option subject to OFI inspection:

  • A premium refund on damaged acres;
  • An indemnity not to exceed 50 percent of the dollar coverage by crop;
  • Or appraised potential production shall not be less than 50 percent of coverage by crop.

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