The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation has announced that the Hay Disaster Benefit (HDB) has been activated and associated payments will begin shortly.

Federal Ag Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Provincial Ag Minister Blaine Pedersen said that estimated payouts for 2019 are expected to be in excess of $5 million on approximately 1,500 claims.

“We recognize it has been a difficult harvest for many families in Manitoba,” said Bibeau. “The Hay Disaster Benefit is one of the ways our government is supporting farmers to protect their businesses against weather-related risks, such as forage shortfall.”

“The HDB is a complimentary feature of the AgriInsurance program that compensates insured forage producers for the increased cost of hay and transportation when there is a severe provincial forage shortfall,” said Pedersen. “All producers who are enrolled in the Select Hay Insurance and Basic Hay Insurance programs are automatically enrolled in the HDB.”

The Disaster Benefit was first introduced in 2014 as part of a revamped forage insurance offering. Producers first received payments in 2018.

All insured hay types (alfalfa, alfalfa grass mixtures, grasses, sweet clover and coarse hay) are eligible.

For producers to receive HDB payments, at least 20 percent of producers with Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance must harvest less than 50 percent of their long-term average hay yield. For the 2019 crop year, producers will receive an additional $40 for each tonne below their Select Hay or Basic Hay Insurance coverage.

The benefit will not cost producers anything. The premiums are cost-shared 60 percent by the Government of Canada and 40 percent by the Province of Manitoba.

For more information on forage insurance in Manitoba contact a MASC office or visit their website.