Saskatchewan producers can expect a record high level of crop insurance coverage from the provincial program this year, with enhancements to the program announced leading into this year’s growing season. Deputy premier and finance minister Donna Harpauer joined Jeff Morrow, acting president and CEO of Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC), to share details of the 2021 Crop Insurance program on Feb. 23.
Over the past three decades, the acreage in the Okanagan and Creston valleys dedicated to growing apples has dropped to about one-third of what it once was. According to a report from the Sterile Insect Release program, there were more than 20,000 acres of apples grown when the program started, in 1992. Now there are 7,500 acres.
As Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, I am proud to announce that Alberta farmers will receive a 20 per cent reduction in crop insurance premiums this year. This reduction from Alberta’s government and Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) will save farmers more than $55 million on their crop insurance premiums in 2021 and increase the competitiveness of Alberta farmers internationally.
“In just the past three years, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) has spread to 55 new U.S. counties in 11 states,” says Greg Tylka, Iowa State University (ISU) nematologist and co-leader of The SCN Coalition. “The most damaging soybean pathogen, SCN has also infested 24 new counties and rural municipalities in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.”
The latest grasshopper forecast for Saskatchewan sees reduced threat in 2021. Provincial insect specialist James Tansey says crop loss was moderate to insects this past year. He says there were several grasshopper outbreaks, notably around the southwest, southeast and west central and central areas.
Potato Production in Canada for the year 2020, is estimated at 104,203,000 hundred weight. This is down 1.4 million hundred weight or 1.3% below 2019. Due to market uncertainty from COVID-19, Canada planted 5,000 fewer acres in the spring of 2020. The bigger reduction, however, came from hot dry weather conditions across the country and particularly in Eastern Canada where many growers are unable to irrigate their crops.
The government of Prince Edward Island has announced it will come to the aid of the province’s seed potato growers through an assistance program, compensating for the negative effects COVID-19 on the industry. According to a press release from the PEI government, the Seed Potato Recovery Program is a $1.19 million fund for seed growers who can demonstrate that they have incurred significant costs associated with the pandemic.
“We’ve seen hail—lots of hail—and through the summer, we saw cloudy, rainy weather. And to top the year off, we just had an early freeze with lots of snow and it’s all putting additional challenges in front of our growers,” says Warren Sarafinchan, chief executive officer with the BC Tree Fruits Cooperative based in Kelowna, BC.
Nutrien Ltd. is reporting a third-quarter net loss of US$587 million thanks mainly to an US$823-million writedown in the value of its phosphate fertilizer operations. The Saskatoon-based company, which reports its results in U.S. dollars, says its loss equates to $1.03 per diluted share, compared with earnings of $141 million or 24 cents per share in the same three months a year ago.
Saskatchewan Agriculture's latest crop report shows 96% of the provincial crop is now combined. Harvest is 91 per cent complete in the northwest, 92 per cent in the east central region, 93 per cent in the northeast, the southeast and west-central regions are at 98 per cent, while harvest in the Southwest is at 99 per cent complete.
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