Fields of canola, like this one near Bashaw, may not be as bountiful as normal and producers should ensure their insurance is adequate. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Ponoka and area farmers facing weather challenges again

AFSC, the province’s crop insurance and financial specialist, hopes producers consider their needs

Weather has been variable throughout Alberta this year, so producers need to make the best of their insurance coverage.

With conditions continuing wet in north central areas and drier than normal in the south, concern are there regarding yield and quality of crops.

Which is why Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) — a provincial crown corporation that provides farmers and agri-business with financial services including loans and disaster assistance — wants to remind clients to carefully assess their options to get the most of their insurance coverage.

“AFSC has two types of insurance programs in place to protect insured clients who are experiencing either dry conditions or excess moisture,” said Nancy Smith, AFSC co-ordinator of insurance products.

“Production-based programs for crops and hay provide protection from an individual production shortfall or reduction in quality, while area-based programs protect crops and pasture based on events in a geographical area near the client’s farm.”

Examples of area-based annual crop programs include Silage Greenfeed Lack of Moisture Insurance and Silage Greenfeed Barley Proxy Insurance, while pasture programs include Moisture Deficiency Insurance and Satellite Yield Insurance.

Meanwhile, crop insurance covers losses in both production and quality. with claims on insurable risk losses calculated and paid out based on actual production. The list of risks covered includes drought on dryland crops as well as excessive moisture.

AFSC has two hay insurance programs that cover production of hay set for both feed and export, but neither of the programs will compensate clients for loss of hay quality.

However, Smith explained that it is extremely important for AFSC clients with production-based insurance to contact the corporation prior to putting their insured crops to another use such as silaging, pasturing or plowing down, in order to ensure their insurance coverage is not negatively impacted.

Potential insurance payments can be deferred in advance before it is calculated with the client contacting either their local AFSC branch or the head office in Lacombe.

Any client searching for more detailed information on their insurance coverage options are encouraged to contact their local branch office or contact the AFSC toll free at 1-877-899-2372.

Anyone wanting to find out more about the offerings of AFSC can visit the corporation’s website at www.afsc.ca.

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