Minister Horner denies “inaccurate claims” by NDP on crop insurance premiums raising 60 per cent

“We’ve seen crop insurance go through a lot over the last two years. The program has really changed dramatically. It’s paid out $4.1 billion combined over the last two years… about $2.8 billion the year previous and we look like we are around $1.3 billion for payouts for last year,” he said.

Horner notes this is due to a combination of the drought in 2021, high payouts for hail claims after hail storms in central Alberta, and the height in value in crop payouts becoming more in 2022.

“The fund has been greatly depleted over the last two years… so there is a small growth factor in the fund. But beyond that, you’re paying for your coverage,” Horner said about how producers will be able to deal with the rise of insurance premiums during hard economic times.

Calculations made by the Alberta government say increases compared to 2022 are:

  • Hard Red Spring Wheat – 17 per cent
  • Feed Barley – nine per cent
  • Canola – 12 per cent
  • Yellow Field Peas – two per cent

“The one thing you can control is having this insurance to cover these terrible years… when everything else is out of your control. As much as it’s going up, it’s a non-profit insurance program, actuarially sound and audited, looks at a 25-year lens so they can control increases in premium rate,” added Horner on the AFSC program.

The program is 60 per cent subsidized with federal and provincial inputs. Around 36 per cent is paid by the federal level, 24 per cent by the province, and 40 per cent by producers.

The NDP says over 70 per cent of Alberta producers are enrolled in AFSC’s crop insurance program.

Horner said the program is; “one place where there’s tremendous value for Alberta farming communities when everything else is outside of their control.”

The province noted this year’s budget has included an additional $61.4 million to make sure AFSC insurance programs have appropriate funding to support producers during challenging times.

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