The governments of Canada and British Columbia announced today changes to the AgriInsurance - Production Insurance program that will help B.C. tree-fruit growers manage the risk of crop losses by hail, spring frost, excessive rain, flooding, drought and wind.
In 2017, the calculation of depreciation is changing for quality loss claims (i.e., hail damage). This will help improve the predictability of claims, better reflect the true value of losses and will more accurately align with the picking and abandonment decisions growers make when crops are severely damaged. There is no cost increase to the new calculation and the change applies to all tree-fruit crops, except cherries.
Wind will be added as a “quality peril” to the B.C. Production Insurance program. Fruit damaged by wind and remaining on the tree will be adjusted the same as hail damage. There also will be changes for cherry growers, including additional coverage for new cherry plantings and the time between purchasing quality coverage and coverage coming into effect is being extended from two days to four days.
Tree-fruit producers will receive their production insurance renewal packages in the mail in October 2016. The deadline for new applications and renewals is Nov. 30, 2016. Tree-fruit crops eligible for purchase of production insurance coverage include apples, cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums and prunes.
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada –
“The Government of Canada is working closely with the Province of British Columbia to enhance the agriculture sector’s ability to compete, innovate and capture new opportunities. These important changes to production insurance products will help tree-fruit growers manage the risk of crop losses and recover from the financial impact.”
Norm Letnick, B.C. Minister of Agriculture –
“The B.C. government is committed to promoting the growth and production of high-value, high-quality B.C. fruit. In addition to the production insurance enhancements announced today, our investments support that commitment including a $9.4-million tree-fruit replant program, multi-million dollar investments to help packinghouses modernize and buy-local program funding to promote B.C. crops to B.C. consumers.”
Fred Steele, president, BC Fruit Growers’ Association –
“Production insurance is an important program to orchardists and we are very pleased with the changes for 2017. The level of consultation we have had from Ministry of Agriculture staff is greatly appreciated. I am impressed with how fast the gap in coverage around wind damage has been closed. The change to depreciation better reflects the actual loss that occurs, making the program more predictable and easy to understand. It is a great improvement.”
- British Columbia growers produced Canada’s largest tree fruit crop in 2015, with more than 124,000 tonnes of apples, cherries, peaches, pears, plums/prunes, nectarines and apricots grown and marketed. The total represents close to one-third of Canadian production and $117 million in farm cash receipts.
- AgriInsurance is a federal-provincial-producer cost-shared program that stabilizes a producer's income by minimizing the economic effects of production losses caused by natural hazards.
Further information on Production Insurance and how to apply: