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Ontario offering production insurance to tender fruit growers


September 16, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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Ontario is now offering production insurance to tender fruit growers who lose their trees “so they can feel confident in growing their businesses while managing risks inherent to farming.”

Tender fruit trees now eligible for coverage include pear, plum, sweet and sour cherry, peach and nectarine, Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs noted in a bulletin issued on Thursday.

Tender fruit producers who buy production insurance can claim compensation for the removal and replacement costs of trees that die as a result of specific risks covered by the plan, the bulletin said, adding that there is no additional cost for this new coverage. This will help Ontario tender fruit producers compete with producers in other Canadian provinces who already have access to tree loss coverage.

“Crop insurance is a crucial risk management tool for our growers,” said Phil Tregunno, chair of the Ontario Tender Fruit Growers, in the bulletin. “We have been working with our government partners over the past few years to analyze coverage and implement changes that make crop insurance plans more effective. This tree mortality program supports our producers and helps create a business environment that encourages sector growth.”

Production insurance is part of a suite of business risk management programs designed to help farmers manage losses due to unforeseen events beyond their control such as weather, pests and disease, the bulletin said.

According to the ministry, apple and grape growers currently have the basic level of tender fruit coverage. New this year, all growers of grape and tree fruit growers – including tender fruit – will have the option to buy extended coverage for their trees and vines. Almost 60% of tender fruit production is currently covered by production insurance, the bulletin said.

Production insurance is currently available for almost 90 commercially grown crops in Ontario, including grains, oilseeds and certain fruits and vegetables. More than 90% of all Ontario tender fruit production is based in the Niagara Peninsula, with the rest coming from Norfolk County and southwestern Ontario.

In Ontario, the tender fruit sector generates $47 million in farm gate sales annually.