Farmers enrolled in Saskatchewan Crop Insurance will be paying higher premiums for higher coverage levels in 2021.

Jeff Morrow, the Acting CEO and President of SCIC says producers will be looking at on average just over a $1 per acre more for about $50 per acre more in coverage.

"Average producer premium for 2021 would be $8.59 per acre, and that's up from $7.40 last year. Really the main reason, or the only reason, is because that coverage has increased so significantly. The actual premium rate is reducing but because the coverage is up so significantly, we are seeing that average producer premium per acre up."

Coverage is expected to reach a record level of $273 per acre due to higher commodity prices and increased yield coverage, up 22 per cent from $224 in 2020.

Morrow says it's really driven by two factors the main one being prices.

" We've seen the commodity prices increase and the expected values are staying strong for the coming year. So that is one of the big drivers for that record coverage, and of course the other piece is yields. We are seeing a modest increase in the yield coverage that we're able to offer for 2021 as well."

The establishment benefit values for canola, lentils, chickpeas and corn are increasing in 2021. Canola is now $70 per acre. Large Green lentils are $50 per acre, Red lentils are $30 per acre. Large Kabuli chickpeas are $65 per acre, Small Kabuli chickpeas are $45 per acre while the establishment benefit for Corn is at $95 per acre.

SCIC is also updating the base grade for large-seeded Kabuli chickpeas increasing the insured price an quality coverage.

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Board Chair Shaun Dyrland says they welcome the change to the Kabuli chickpea base grade calculation, as it better reflects the larger sizes grown by Saskatchewan producers.

He notes this change should increase coverage levels for most of the 300 chickpea producers in the province.

New in 2021, producers growing tame hay will also have additional options when insuring their hay acres.

Crop Insurance customers now have the choice to insure their tame hay acres under the Forage Rainfall Insurance Program (FRIP) or the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance Program.

Coverage options can be customized for each farming operation. Under FRIP, payments will be calculated based on rainfall levels, instead of overall yields.

Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Chair Arnold Balicki says adding tame hay to the Forage Rainfall Insurance Program and extending the calf coverage deadline and hours of operation for Livestock Price Insurance are all positive.

"I encourage cattle producers to look into SCIC’s programs as there were many improvements in recent years."

Forage producers will also see an increase in Native Forage Establishment Benefit coverage.

The Native Forage Establishment Benefit provides coverage on newly seeded native forage acres with the coverage increasing from $75 to $200.

Other Forage Establishment Benefit prices seeing an increase includes tame hay to $90 per acre and sweetclover to $65 per acre.

SCIC has also been working with the Saskatchewan Vegetable Growers' Association to develop programming for the growing commercial vegetable sector in Saskatchewan.

In 2021 a new pilot Commercial Vegetable Program is being launched that will provide stand-alone coverage for damage to cabbage and pumpkin crops.

A minimum of eight acres is required to participate in the Program.

SCIC will continue to explore insurance coverage options for the Commercial Vegetable Program.

March 31, 2021, is the deadline for producers to select insured crops and coverage levels, make changes to or cancel their crop insurance contracts.

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