Is it time for Ontario farmers to claim the unseeded benefit?

Find out the deadlines and necessary qualifications based on your crop

The planting deadline for crops to qualify for production insurance is fast approaching for many Ontario farmers. As sporadic wet weather continues, making a claim through Agricorp’s underseeded acreage benefit (USAB) offers a strategic alternative.

Agricorp says USAB helps offset financial burdens, such as fixed costs and land maintenance, in situations where farmers are unable to plant either intended or alternative crops by the planting deadline. This provides producers with more flexibility in their business decisions.

Why it matters: Claims filed with Agricorp’s underseeded acreage benefit only net one-third of average yield income. Still, several qualifiers must be met for a claim to be accepted.

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USAB for grains and oilseeds

USAB is designed to cover fixed costs and land maintenance. The program, according to an Agricorp factsheet, also covers “all insured perils” except for drought, and is based on one’s own historical yield data. Payments amount to one-third of a ten-year yield average for one’s “dominant crop” – that is, the crop grown the previous year. Deductibles for tiled and untiled land are subtracted from the total.

Adjusters determining the success of a claim consider the general planting conditions in the area, reasons why a given acreage has yet to be planted, and whether a “reasonable” crop management plan is being followed. Farmers making a claim under this benefit are asked to keep records that might help the assessment. These records could include both documents and photographs.

Crucially, producers must insure all their grain and oilseed acres in order to qualify for this benefit.

Some planting deadlines extended

Planting deadlines in specific areas can be extended by Agricorp – with approval from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. This occurs if it is determined local conditions can permit such an extension without undue risk.

The province is currently divided into five overarching planting areas. There’s still time in most parts of the province to plant corn. Area D has until June 10 and A, B and C have until June 15. Some crop planting deadlines have been extended in select areas at or below that scale.  As of June 4, extended dates which have not yet passed are in the graphic below.

AgriStability enrolment still open

The article indicates Agricorp is not offering USAB for black tobacco, green peas, or seed corn in areas with extended planting deadlines. A full list of deadlines, as well as other crop and region specific information, is available on the Agricorp website.

Agricorp says the combination of enrolment in Production Insurance, AgriStability, and the Risk Management Program (RMP) provides coverage for production losses, increased costs, and adverse market conditions.

The deadline for grain and oilseed farmers to enrol in RMP ended May 31. The deadline for those same growers to access AgriStability, conversely, remains open until July 2.

About the author

Contributor

Matt is a freelance writer based between Essex County and Chatham-Kent. He is interested in all things scientific, as well as rock n' roll, hunting and history. He also works with his parents on their sixth-generation family farm.

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