Ontario punches up fruit production insurance

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Ontario apple and grape growers who’ve enrolled in production insurance through Agricorp for 2014 can now qualify for coverage on their trees and vines in their first year of insurance.

The change is one of several Agricorp recently announced to its insurance program for fruit crops following a “devastating” crop year in 2012.

Ontario growers until now have had to insure apple and grape production for a full year before they could be eligible for apple tree and grape vine rider coverage, which insures plants separately from production.

Among other changes, Agricorp has adopted yield buffering for tender fruit crops. Yields more than 30 per cent above or below a customer’s average opening yield will be buffered, to “stabilize and lessen” the impact when calculating a grower’s final average yield.

Also, claim prices will be calculated for peaches/nectarines, pears, plums and sweet cherries using a three-year average crop price instead of the previous five-year average price.

The three-year average price will be “more responsive of market prices,” Agricorp said in a release.

For sour cherries, Agricorp added, the claim price will be set at harvest, to provide growers with the market price at harvest.

Agricorp, in its release last week, described the changes as “some of the first improvements” to the fruit production insurance program, developed in consultation with Ontario Apple Growers, the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers’ Marketing Board and the provincial ag ministry.

Fruit growers’ deadlines to enroll or change their production insurance coverage was Dec. 20. – AGCanada.com Network