Rough year triggers estimated $3.2 million in insurance payouts for Manitoba hay producers

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More than 20 per cent of Manitoba producers who had select hay or basic hay insurance have claimed they harvested less than 50 per cent of their long-term average hay yield. That significant number has triggered the Hay Disaster Benefit (HDB) to roll out.

The HDB was first introduced in 2014 as part of a complementary feature of the federal AgriInsurance program. It compensates insured forage producers for the increased cost of hay and transportation when there is a severe provincial forage shortfall, according to a provincial press release.

In order for the HDB to be triggered, at least 20 per cent of producers with select and basic hay insurance must harvest less than 50 per cent of their long-term average hay yield. The 2018 crop is the first time this has happened since the program started.

All hay types, including alfalfa, alfalfa grass mixtures, grasses, sweet clover, and coarse hay are eligible. If a producer was enrolled in the select and basic hay program, they were automatically enrolled in HDB at no additional cost. According to the release, premiums are cost-shared 60 per cent by the Government of Canada and 40 per cent by the Province of Manitoba.

Producers can expect an additional $40 for each tonne below their Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance coverage for the 2018 crop. There are roughly 1,000 claims, and the added payout is estimated to be $3.2 million.