Farmers in Alberta will see a significant reduction in their crop insurance premiums for the 2021 growing season.
Announced January 25 by the Alberta government and the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), a 20 per cent reduction will save farmers more than $55 million on their crop insurance premiums this year.
Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Devin Dreeshen, says it will put money back into the pockets of Alberta farmers right away, while allowing more producers to be a part of what is considered one of the most successful business risk management (BRM) programs for Alberta farmers — with roughly 72 per cent enrolling in the crop insurance program every year.
“It’s something that our rural economy desperately needs. When you look at agriculture being a highlight in Alberta’s economy, really strengthening it even more with this 20 per cent off of crop insurance really goes a long way of helping out a strong sector that did well in 2020,” Dreeshen explains.
Currently, this reduction is specific to crop insurance, and does not apply to the straight hail portion of crop insurance that farmers purchase from AFSC as well. However, it does include pasture, grain, and/or silage insurance for cow-calf producers.
For 2021 the provincial government is predicting farmers will pull a higher amount of crop insurance than before due to the reduction in premiums, furthering the idea of BRM reform. In addition to increasing competitiveness of Alberta farmers internationally, and helping to boost the rural economy, a significant reduction in crop insurance premiums will help counter some of the federal agriculture programs that have been implemented, says Dreeshen.
“The clean fuel standards, and even this impending fertilizer regulation isn’t something that’s really that understood yet from our federal government. These are two regulations that I’ve heard from farmers that they are quite concerned about. It hurts their international competitiveness when they see more regulations and red tape hitting their industry. And they are rightfully concerned,” he says. “And then on top of that, you look at a 500 per cent increase in the federal carbon tax, that really does squeeze and hurt our farmers internationally. It’s our hope that this new marginal-based insurance program will reduce revenue decline for a farm operation, regardless of type of operation.”
Check out the full conversation between Minister Dreeshen and RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis, below: