Wild Rice Growers Embrace Insurance Plan

Wednesday, March 07, 2007 at 15:09



The chairman of the Saskatchewan Wild Rice Council says growers seem to be very receptive to a new crop insurance program.


A recently-announced pilot project will see crop insurance offered to wild rice producers this year for the very first time.


Bill Plunz says a lot of growers are happy the coverage is being offered on a regional basis — not individually. That raises the possibility that individual harvesters that have a good year might still qualify for payouts — if they’re situated in a region with a poor harvest.


He says the average premiums, so far, have run anywhere from $300 to $500 — and payouts could be several thousand dollars if there’s a total crop failure.


Each region has its own level of premiums, based on the risk associated with its 10-year harvest history. In the northwest, Plunz says the highest level of coverage costs $1.36 an acre. He says it is over $3.00 per acre in the central region of the North, and roughly $1.60 an acre in the northeast.


There are roughly 200 wild rice producers in northern Saskatchewan — and Plunz says he’ll be ecstatic if he can convince 60 or 70 of them to sign up.


The growers have until March 31st to buy the insurance.


Details of the plan will be presented at their annual conference in La Ronge on March 21st.


Anyone wanting to sign up or get more information before then can call Plunz at 425-7363.