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Alta. moisture maps point to poor pasture, hay

Alberta’s crop insurance agency warns that soil moisture maps now make a good case for ranchers and hay producers to consider perennial insurance.

The province’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC) last week reminded farmers that the deadline for perennial insurance comes up Monday, March 1.

“Soil moisture maps for the province indicate that levels are very low across much of the province,” AFSC said in a release Friday.

“Low soil moisture levels at this time of year increase the risk of reduced hay and pasture yields for the coming growing season.”

AFSC urged producers to contact their local offices and weigh the benefits versus the potential costs of perennial coverage for hay and pasture crops.

In 2009, the agency said, it paid out over $56.9 million in hay and pasture insurance claims, way up from about $6.5 million in 2008.

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