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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Saskatchewan

1997 CROP INSURANCE PROGRAM DETAILS ANNOUNCED

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Ralph Goodale and
Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food Minister Eric Upshall today announced
details of the 1997 Saskatchewan crop insurance program.

The program is the result of extensive consultation with producers and
agriculture leaders. The two ministers said significant features of
the new program include more affordable coverage options, a
simplification of program design and changes which are expected to
broaden the program's appeal to producers. The ministers also said the
low premium cost of base coverage, less than one dollar per acre for
most producers, will appeal to many producers and will help to
stabilize farms and the rural economy.

"Producers want a simplified and affordable crop insurance program,"
Upshall said. "We have upgraded the program with a package of changes
that will ease the producer's cost of insurance at all levels of
coverage."

"The improvements being announced will ensure a sustainable crop
insurance program that is both effective and affordable. This new
program will allow producers to choose a level of protection that meets
their individual needs," said Goodale.

The two ministers confirmed a significant reduction of the debt burden
in the crop insurance program. Saskatchewan has eliminated it's share
of the debt through a $128 million contribution and the Government of
Canada has reduced it's share of the debt by way of a $162 million
contribution from within Saskatchewan's allocation of the federal
safety net envelope. Along with debt pay-down through normal program
operations, this will reduce overall premiums to producers by about 10
per cent. Internal actuarial improvements in the crop insurance
program will help guard against burdensome debt loads in the future.

Upshall said the 1997 program offers very affordable base coverage
which insures producers for 50 per cent of their individual average
yield. The federal and provincial governments will pay 80 per cent and
producers 20 per cent of the premiums for this base coverage.

In addition to base coverage, buy-up coverage may also be purchased up
to 80 per cent of the individual's average yield, with producers paying
60 per cent of the buy-up premium and governments paying 40 per cent.
The new program provides improved affordability at all coverage levels.

Upshall also announced that in direct response to producer
recommendations, spot-loss hail insurance is being retained as part of
the crop insurance program. Hail insurance premiums will be
cost-shared. Producers will pay 60 per cent of the premium and
governments will pay 40 per cent of hail insurance premium costs.
Spot-loss hail coverage can be purchased along with yield insurance
coverage of between 50 and 70 per cent of the individual's average
yield.

The two ministers said a number of changes have been made to simplify
the design of the crop insurance program. This has been done by
offering insurance features which producers have been using in a
significant way and eliminating those which have not had any broad
appeal with customers.

In future years, producers will be asked to sign up for the program by
March 1. However, this date has been extended to March 15 for 1997 to
allow producers additional time to familiarize themselves with the new
program. Previously there were three sign-up dates for different
commodities. The deadline is being moved up to March 1 to provide for
one sign-up date for producers. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance has
reduced premiums by three per cent as a result of a March sign-up date.

Producers will be receiving detailed information on the '97 program in
the mail. Any producer who does not receive this information in the
mail should contact their local Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Customer
Service Office.

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For more information, contact:

Gloria Visser-Niven
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation
Melville
Phone: (306) 728-7286

Vern Greenshields
Press Secretary
Minister Goodale's Office
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa
Phone: (613) 759-1020

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