New livestock price insurance to help protect producers

Lisa Goudy
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A pair of cows are tied up during the 2013 Canadian Western Agribition in Regina. 

A new livestock price insurance program will eliminate a disadvantage between Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“Saskatchewan’s been at a fairly distinct disadvantage over the last three years because Alberta’s had theirs in place since 2009,” said Bill Jameson, president of the Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association and JGL Cattle partner in Moose Jaw. “Saskatchewan hasn’t had it. So certainly it puts us on a level playing field with Alberta now.”

On Friday, the federal government and the Western provinces’ provincial governments announced a new four-year Western Livestock Insurance Program (WLPIP) pilot that will be available beginning March 1.

According to a government release, the program will “help livestock producers protect themselves against unexpected price declines by allowing them to purchase insurance on an insured price selected by the producer from the available coverage levels.”

“It’ll give the producers an opportunity to price cattle under this insurance program to get more or less a floor price for their cattle and still be able to take advantage of any upside of the market,” said Jameson. “So as far as being good, it’s good for the cattle industry. There’s no question we think it’s going to be a good program.”

The initiative will cover cattle and hog producers. The release said it is an expansion of the Alberta program to a regional model and premiums are fully funded by producers.

“The biggest change is it’s going to give producers an opportunity to forward-price cattle for an insurance premium, which hasn’t been available previously,” said Jameson.

Also, the federal and provincial governments will cover costs related to administration and delivery costs. Regarding deficit financing, that will be covered under the federal government.

“We have been committed to working with the industry to provide price insurance for our cattle and hog producers to help them better manage risk and grow the industry,” said Lyle Stewart, provincial agriculture minister, in the release. “This has been a top priority for our government and I am pleased to partner with the federal government and the western provinces to offer livestock price insurance.”

Gerry Ritz, federal agriculture minister, said in the release the initiative is an example of “collaboration among federal and provincial governments and industry to strengthen risk management options for producers.”

The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation will be the primary customer service agent for the program. Jameson said for full details on the program, call the local office for more information.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association, Western Livestock Insurance, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance

Geographic location: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw

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