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APG Collaborates with AFSC to Ensure that Insurance Products Meet Needs of Pulse Producers (PCN Winter 2016) JAN 11 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Risk management is one of the priority areas of focus for the Alberta Pulse Growers Commission. Crop and hail insurance are programs available to growers to aid with managing risks associated with planting and harvesting all crops. APG and AFSC have cultivated a relationship whereby the priority needs of pulse producers, from irrigated dry beans in Burdett to dryland faba beans in Falher, are communicated and current programming evaluated to determine if it fits the needs of the producers growing these crops.

The APG board evaluates this risk management tool for efficacy and efficiency on an annual basis, identifying strengths and weaknesses. A smaller working group, along with staff, then meets with AFSC’s programming coordinators to jointly assess coverage levels, risk assessment areas, and new crops that fall outside traditional crop insurance boundaries. This team work approach has provided momentum and resulted in huge strides forward in providing effective insurance programs for pulse producers.

“The APG membership represents a large number of AFSC clients and has historically been an important source of support and feedback to keep programming relevant,” said Jesse Cole, a member of the AFSC Research and Product Development team. “The working group approach has been a great method to communicate and collaborate on what’s needed to make the enhancements happen.”

Most recently, the New Crops Insurance Initiative (NCII) has allowed farmers the opportunity to insure soybeans. While this crop does not have large acreage in the province at this time, there are a number of growers who have found it to be a fit for their businesses. The NCII program allows clients to build up their own yield histories while managing some of the risk associated with new, small acre or non-traditional crops. In the first year of the product, over 30 producers insured about 4,000 acres across 10 crops including 875 acres of soybeans.

In 2015, the APG board communicated to AFSC a number of priorities for pulse crop insurance, including field peas and yellow dry beans. The APG-AFSC team has designed changes to improve the relevance of insurance for these crops and is currently working out details with the federal government, which provides premium cost support for a majority of the insurance products.

Watch for an update on the results and more detail on the requested changes in the Spring edition of Pulse Crop News.