Agriculture Minister David Marit released the details on the 2024 Saskatchewan Crop Insurance program on Tuesday.

The program is cost shared between the Federal Government, the Province, and producers with the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) administering the program.

Marit says this year's enhancements build on SCIC's existing suite of Business Risk Management programs that have helped to support producers that have been impacted by drought.

"Over the last three years, this suite of programs has largely responded to weather-related production losses, providing over six billion dollars of insurance claims and other program benefits directly to Saskatchewan producers. For 2024, multi-peril crop insurance average coverage is $389 per acre, a decrease from 2023, largely due to an average decrease in insured commodity prices. As a result, the average premium is also decreasing to $12.71."

SCIC's President and CEO Jeff Morrow says as an example in 2024 the average premium for Hard Red Spring Wheat would be $7.55 per acre for about $318 in coverage, the average premium for Canola would be $17.28 per acre for about $493 in coverage, while the average premium for large green lentils would be $27 an acre for about $380 in coverage.

SCIC notes that producers' coverage and premiums are individualized to their operation and reflect each producer's production records and claim history. 

As part of Crop Insurance producers have access to a variety of Weather Based Programs including Forage Rainfall Insurance, Corn Rainfall Insurance, and Corn Heat Unit Insurance.

Marit announced enhancements to the programs providing new options for insuring intercrops and additional feed crops. 

The Mixed Forage Rainfall Insurance Program now protects any forage feed crop not previously covered under weather-based programs, including mixed forage, greenfeed, and silage, if seasonal precipitation is below average. 

The Intercrop Rainfall Insurance Program ensures that annual intercrops intended for harvest can now be insured for below-average seasonal precipitation. 

Coverage is also increasing for the 2024 Forage Rainfall Insurance Program to better reflect the productive capacity of the insured acres and increased transportation allowance associated with replacing lost feed. 

As well, another 38 weather stations are being added for this year,  with 224 weather stations now most land will be within 30 kilometres of at least one weather station.

Marit noted that in 2023 the forage rainfall insurance program paid out $60 million in claims to producers experiencing below-average rainfall,  90 per cent of the acres insured in the program received a payment.

Producers should have started receiving their crop insurance coverage packages in the mail and will have noticed the updates on their Crop Connect accounts.

Marit also acknowledged that late last week SCIC found an oversight in premiums for some of its customers whereby some customer premiums are higher than they should be 

He says since that time, SCIC has been working to resolve the issue. 

"New printed packages will be mailed and updates made to Crop Connect within a week."

March 31, 2024, is the deadline for Saskatchewan producers to apply, reinstate, or cancel their Crop Insurance contract.