Record payments for Saskatchewan producers battling drought

The Saskatchewan government announced a record number of crop insurance payments this fall.

According to a provincial news release, more than 90 per cent of acres insured by the Forage Rainfall Insurance Program have received payment, totaling $60.4 million across the province.

The program aims to protect pasture and hay land.

“The last four or five years have been exceptionally dry,” said Garner Deobald, president of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association. “You’re running out of all your (food) stores and it’s getting very concerning.”

Most of the payments were distributed in the driest regions of Saskatchewan in 2023, including the southwest and midwest regions of the province.

“Our ranchers are getting extra support, as more than 90 per cent of insured acres enrolled in the Forage Rain Insurance program have received payment,” said Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit.

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“This is additional cash flow for participating crop insurance customers in response to dry conditions. We find that this program responds to the needs of producers when shortages of rainfall lead to shortages of forage and pasture. I encourage producers to continually rea*sess the options available under the full suite of business risk management programs.

The payments were distributed on August 18.

Fire insurance remains for those enrolled in the program until March 31.

Deobald said he has been enrolled in the Forage Rainfall Insurance Program since its inception.

“It just gives us an additional tool to cope with and manage these drought years,” he said.

Despite the dry conditions, Deobald said Saskatchewan farmers remain resilient.

“They could bring two-thirds or three-quarters of the cows they normally would and at some point they will replenish when conditions improve again. Livestock markets are currently dynamic. »

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