AFSC has taken additional steps to speed up assistance to producers with unharvested acres. AFSC had the opportunity to participate in a conference call on Wednesday, April 26 with Minister Carlier, as well as representatives from Team Alberta and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
AFSC understands the pressure the snowed under crops has puts on our clients as they wait for fields to dry in order to deal with the unharvested acres from 2016 and seed the 2017 crop. Approximately 960,000 insured crop acres remain unharvested from the 2016 crop year.
In order to assist producers with cash flow, AFSC has paid $33.2 million in unharvest acreage advance payments on over 2,000 claims. Most of those producers will be eligible for further payments, depending on the quantity, harvestability, and quality of the crops that remain in the field.
If snowed under crop acres are to be harvested, claims will be settled when combining has been completed and the total production from the crop can be determined by AFSC. If wildlife damage has occurred, a wildlife inspection should be requested so an assessment can be completed before the crop is harvested.
There will be circumstances where combining the unharvested acres in the spring will not be an option for producers. If this is the case, insured producers need to contact their local AFSC Branch Office to setup a pre-harvest inspection so the potential production on those unharvested acres can be assessed. Once the pre-harvest inspection is completed, AFSC will release these acres and producers will be in a position to put their crops to another use (bale, burn, graze, plow down, etc.).
AFSC recognizes that there is pressure to respond in a timely manner to wildlife and pre-harvest inspection. As a result, AFSC has streamlined inspection processes in order to expedite assessments.
- The number of required field counts has been reduced when appraising wildlife damage and potential production on the unharvested acres, relying on the inspector’s judgement to do more counts when required.
- In situations where AFSC has determined a crop is unharvestable (e.g. severely lodged or not marketable) a zero yield will be assessed.
- AFSC will process claims on a crop-by-crop basis if there are delays in assessing total production of the different insured unharvested crop types in order to provide cash flow to producers.
Dealing with the unharvested acres is a priority for AFSC and all available adjusting staff are being deployed to the affected areas to move through claims as quickly as possible.
Producers participating in crop insurance, who have elected the required production coverage option for the 2017 crop year, will be covered for an unseeded acreage benefit in the event that acres are not able to be seeded by June 20. Producers can assist AFSC in managing the workload to expedite the assessment process by:
- Actively monitoring their crops, knowing the location and amount of damage to their crops;
- Deciding what they are going to do with their unharvested crop acres (spring thresh, bale, burn, graze, plow down, etc.);
- Notifying their local AFSC Branch Office as soon as possible to report eligible Wildlife damage and their intentions for the unharvested acres;
- Being prepared to accompany the AFSC Inspector during the assessment; and Filing their revised Harvest Production Report promptly after completing spring harvest