Hay disaster benefit kicks in for Manitoba growers

Eligible Manitoba forage growers can expect to share in a $5 million hay disaster benefit (HDB) for the 2019 crop year.

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC), the provincial crop insurance agency, announced Friday that the HDB has been activated and benefit payments to eligible forage producers on about 1,500 claims will begin “shortly.”

The HDB, which was set up in 2014 and kicked in for the first time in 2018, is a feature of the federal-provincial AgriInsurance program. It compensates insured forage producers for increased hay and transport costs in cases of a severe forage shortfall in the province.

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According to provincial Agriculture Minister Blaine Pedersen, all producers enrolled in MASC’s select hay insurance and basic hay insurance programs are “automatically” enrolled in the HDB.

At least 20 per cent of producers with select hay or basic hay insurance must harvest less than 50 per cent of their long-term average hay yield to trigger an HDB payment. All insured hay types — alfalfa, alfalfa grass mixtures, grasses, sweet clover and coarse hay — are eligible.

For 2019, producers will receive an additional $40 for each tonne below their select hay or basic hay insurance coverage.

Premiums for the HDB are cost-shared 60-40 by the federal and Manitoba governments under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership at no cost to producers. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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