It was a rough start to harvest for Alberta farmers, but officials in the province say most farmers are done for the season. Harry Brook is a Crop Specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and he says around 95% of the crops are finally in the bin. But he says, although they are thankful the weather created an opportunity to finish, it was still bad news.
The Saskatchewan government announced Wednesday that Payment on Account is now available to livestock producers in the province through the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP). WLPIP provides producers with insurance protection when an unexpected drop in market prices happens over a specific period of time.
Mid-size onions from Quebec look tight on supplies this season. “We had extremely warm weather this summer. It was warmer than normal. So the effect on the onions was they’re smaller and the volumes are definitely lower than in a normal year,” says Mario Cloutier of Groupe Ethier Inc. in Mirabel, Que.
The Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA) says Prairie farmers are continuing to insure their crops at near record levels. 2018 was average for claims but endured higher than average claim payments. Claims produced insurance payouts of over $161million on over 11,200 claims in western Canada. Producer premiums totaled just over $264 million.
Hail damage claims to crops this year in Saskatchewan reached $98 million. That’s more than double the total from last year. Canadian Crop Hail Association chair Rick Omelchenko noted hail damage losses returned to a more average year in 2018. He said the first severe hail storm was June 14th, when crops were susceptible to damage.
Weather conditions were dry and seedbed was very dry especially in southern parts of the region. Dry conditions in most of the region during July and August. Rainfall and below than normal temperatures in September and early October cause the significant delay in harvest and no major benefit to crops as most of the crops were already close to harvest at that point.
Thirteen bison on a farm in northeastern British Columbia died of naturally acquired anthrax, a bacteria that the Agriculture Ministry says can remain dormant in certain soil conditions for many years. The animals are thought to have contracted the disease from exposure to dormant anthrax spores in the soil of a feeding site on a farm near Fort St. John, the ministry said in a statement.
Farmers have been celebrating a return to the field, but weeks of premature winter have left their mark. Dry regions that were already expecting lower soybean yields have taken another hit in harvest loss. Cassandra Tkachuk, production specialist with the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, says they have noted harvest losses well above the usual five per cent threshold. In one case, she said, a producer reported up to 20 per cent of the crop left in the field.
Beef producers in flood-prone areas of Manitoba are looking forward to the construction of new outlet channels that should help to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods of 2011 and 2014, which caused mass evacuations of people and livestock, affected millions of hectares of farmland and cost billions of dollars in compensation.
David Van Deynze, MASC’s vice-president of insurance operations, said if the crop is badly degraded, or impractical to harvest, adjusters will still estimate the yield that will be added to the farmer’s long-term average. That affects coverage in the future; the higher the farmer’s long-term average yield, the higher the coverage.
Now that recreational-use marijuana is officially legal, more and more green-fingered Canadians are looking into opportunities around cannabis cultivation. Growing pot is all about light, nutrients and water. While it may sound simple, the methods producers choose to cultivate their cannabis crops can throw up a hoard of different exposures – some of which, insurers are still reluctant to cover.
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