Innovative agricultural insurance product to strengthen Manitoba Forage and Livestock sectors

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Source: Manitoba Agriculture Food, and Rural Initiatives

The governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing $253,600 through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) to develop a new usage-based insurance (UBI) product, in collaboration with Dairy Farmers of Manitoba (DFM), to respond to needs expressed by forage crop growers and other stakeholders in a 2020 review of forage insurance programs, Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson and Terry Duguid, member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, announced today.

“The forage and livestock sectors in Manitoba have been vulnerable in times of substantial forage shortages, as was the case during last summer’s drought conditions, and traditional risk management and insurance methods used for other crops do not always work well for their specific needs,” said Johnson. “We are pleased to work with industry to develop this ground-breaking insurance product that will help forage growers better meet operational challenges, especially under extraordinary circumstances.”

“Forage producers have seen firsthand the impacts of ongoing climate-related challenges – most notably this past year,” said Duguid. “By using scientific tools to gather and assess local conditions, projects like this will create new solutions for drought-affected producers in Manitoba.”

The province will enter a two-year contribution agreement (2021/22 to 2022/23) with DFM to provide up to $253,600 in CAP-Ag Action Manitoba Strategic Initiatives (industry-led) federal flow-through funding. The project will be led by DFM in partnership with Manitoba Beef Producers and four additional producer organizations.

“Dairy Farmers of Manitoba is pleased to work with the Canada and Manitoba governments and agriculture sector to support the development of this innovative UBI product that will benefit forage growers throughout the province,” said David Wiens, chair, Dairy Farmers of Manitoba. “Using leading-edge artificial intelligence, the product will measure and predict forage crop yields automatically and in near-real time based on satellite remote sensing, weather and geophysical data.”

The project will develop a usage-based, farm-specific index insurance product for Manitoba forage growers. It includes the integration of satellite remote sensing and other big data, combined with an interactive web-based application that farmers can use to individualize their insurance, receive real-time and dynamic pricing, monitor forage production throughout the season and fast-track claims settlements, the minister noted.

AIRM Consulting will conduct the project over an 18-month period and develop a website with a geographic information system interface for farmers to purchase insurance, monitor their policies and support claims settlements.

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

For more information, visit https://agriculture.canada.ca/en/about-our-department/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership or www.manitoba.ca/agriculture.